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Michael P Ryan, Lorin A Neuman-Lee, Susan L Durham, Geoffrey D Smith, Susannah S French
Behavioral fever in reptiles is often considered an adaptive response used to eliminate pathogens, yet empirical data showing the wide-spread use of this response is mixed. This behavioral change can be beneficial by enhancing the host's immune response and increasing the animal's chance of survival, but it can also be detrimental in terms of host energetic requirements and enzymatic performance. Thus, we examined whether captive-bred African house snakes (Lamprophis fuliginosus) employed behavioral fever in response to pathogen stimulus...
April 2018: Journal of Thermal Biology
Nikita Woodhead, Kelly M Hare, Alison Cree
The existence of sex differences in digit-length ratio (especially between the second and fourth digits, 2D:4D) is well established for humans from fetal life onwards, and has been linked with later performance. In rodents, the ratio is affected prenatally by exposure to androgens and estrogens, with some research suggesting an influence from sex of the neighbouring intrauterine fetus. However, the ubiquity and ontogenetic development of sexual dimorphism in digit ratios is not well established among wild amniotes...
March 15, 2018: Anatomical Record: Advances in Integrative Anatomy and Evolutionary Biology
Robert M Dores, Michelle Scuba-Gray, Bridgette McNally, Perry Davis, Akiyoshi Takahashi
Previous studies on bony vertebrate MC2R orthologs (i.e., ray finned fishes, amphibians, reptiles, birds, and mammals) have shown that these MC2R orthologs have an obligatory requirement for interaction with bony vertebrate MRAP1 orthologs to a) allow for the trafficking of the MC2R ortholog to the plasma membrane; and b) to allow activation by ACTH, but not by any MSH-sized ligand. In addition, previous studies have found that co-expression of teleost and mammalian MC4R orthologs with corresponding MRAP2 has positive effects on sensitivity to stimulation by αMSH or ACTH...
March 7, 2018: General and Comparative Endocrinology
Sara Andrés-Lasheras, Inma Martín-Burriel, Raúl Carlos Mainar-Jaime, Mariano Morales, Ed Kuijper, José L Blanco, Manuel Chirino-Trejo, Rosa Bolea
BACKGROUND: Clostridium difficile infection (CDI) is recognised as an emerging disease in both humans and some animal species. During the past few years, insights into human CDI epidemiology changed and C. difficile is also considered as an emerging community-acquired pathogen. Certain ribotypes (RT) are possibly associated with zoonotic transmission. The objective of this study was to assess the presence of C. difficile in a population of pets and to characterise the isolates. RESULTS: Faecal samples from a total of 90 diarrhoeic dogs and 24 from exotic animal species (both diarrhoeic and non-diarrhoeic) were analysed...
March 9, 2018: BMC Veterinary Research
Steven D Briscoe, Clifton W Ragsdale
The evolutionary relationships of the mammalian neocortex and avian dorsal telencephalon (DT) nuclei have been debated for more than a century. Despite their central importance to this debate, non-avian reptiles remain underexplored with modern molecular techniques. Reptile studies harbor great potential for understanding the changes in DT organization that occurred in the early evolution of amniotes. They may also help clarify the specializations in the avian DT, which comprises a massive, cell-dense dorsal ventricular ridge (DVR) and a nuclear dorsal-most structure, the Wulst...
March 9, 2018: Journal of Comparative Neurology
A J Cerreta, G A Lewbart, D R Dise, M G Papich
Ceftazidime, a third-generation cephalosporin, is important for treating opportunistic bacterial infections in turtles. Antibacterial dosage regimens are not well established for wild turtles and are often extrapolated from other reptiles or mammals. This investigation used a population pharmacokinetic approach to study ceftazidime in wild turtles presented for rehabilitation. Ceftazidime was administered to 24 wild turtles presented to the Turtle Rescue Team at North Carolina State University. A sparse blood sampling protocol was used to collect samples from 0 to 120 hr with three samples per individual after injection...
March 8, 2018: Journal of Veterinary Pharmacology and Therapeutics
Nubia E Matta, Leydy P González, M Andreína Pacheco, Ananías A Escalante, Andrea M Moreno, Angie D González, Martha L Calderón-Espinosa
Colombia is a megadiverse country with about 600 species of reptiles; however, there are few studies on species of hemoparasites found in this taxonomic group. Here, we document the presence of Plasmodium spp. in four species of reptiles from the northern part of the Orinoco-Amazon region in Colombia. Individuals analyzed in this study were captured in localities between 200 and 500 m altitude, in the department of Guaviare. Each sample was screened for haemosporidian parasites by using morphology and a nested polymerase chain reaction (PCR) protocol that targets the mitochondrial cytochrome b (cytb) gene...
March 7, 2018: Parasitology Research
L Allen, K L Sanders, V A Thomson
Parthenogenesis is a form of asexual reproduction by which embryos develop from unfertilized eggs. Parthenogenesis occurs in reptiles; however, it is not yet known to occur in the widespread elapid snakes (Elapidae), which include well-known taxa such as cobras, mambas, taipans and sea snakes. Here, we describe the production of viable parthenogens in two species of Australo-Papuan elapids with divergent reproductive modes: the oviparous coastal/Papuan taipan ( Oxyuranus scutellatus ) and the viviparous southern death adder ( Acanthophis antarcticus )...
February 2018: Royal Society Open Science
Andrea N Loes, Jamie T Bridgham, Michael J Harms
Toll-like receptor 4 (TLR4) induces inflammation in response to both pathogen- and host-derived molecules. Lipopolysaccharide (LPS) recognition by TLR4 has been shown to occur across the amniotes, but endogenous signaling through TLR4 has not been validated outside of placental mammals. To determine whether endogenous danger signaling is also shared across amniotes, we studied the evolution of TLR4-activation by the calgranulin proteins (S100A8, S100A9, and S100A12), a clade of host molecules that potently activate TLR4 in placental mammals...
2018: Frontiers in Immunology
Kai Wang, Ke Jiang, Yu-Fan Wang, Nikolay A Poyarkov, Jing Che, Cameron D Siler
Due to a paucity of surveys in northern Indochina and lack of international collaborations among neighboring countries, recognized distributional ranges for many amphibian and reptile species end at the political borders for some countries, despite seemingly continuous suitable habitat spanning the region. Combining both morphological and genetic data, we report the first discovery of Japalura chapaensis, a rare agamid lizard believed previously to be endemic to northern Vietnam only, along the border region of southeastern Yunnan Province, China...
March 18, 2018: Zoological Research
Patrick K Malonza, David M Mulwa, Joash O Nyamache, Georgina Jones
The Shimba Hills ecosystem along the south coast of Kenya is a key East African biodiversity hotspot. Historically, it is biogeographically assignable to the East African coastal biome. We examined the current Shimba Hills herpetofauna and their zoogeographical affinities to the coastal forests and nearby Eastern Arc Mountains biodiversity hotspots. The key studied sites included the Shimba Hills National Reserve, forest reserves, Kaya forests, and adjacent private land. Data on herpetofaunal richness were obtained from recent field surveys, literature, and specimens held at the National Museums of Kenya, Herpetology Section Collection, Nairobi...
March 18, 2018: Zoological Research
Thais Agostinho Martins, Mércia Seixas, Danilo Rodrigues Barros Brito, Felippe Danyel Cardoso Martins, Sérgio Tosi Cardim, Priscilla Melo, Sonália Ferreira da Paixão Guterres, Edjanio Gaspar Patrício, João Luis Garcia
Cryptosporidium can infect a wide variety of vertebrate animals, including mammals, birds, amphibians, reptiles, and fish. There are few molecular characterizations of Cryptosporidium isolated from water buffalo. Thus, the present study investigated the occurrence and molecular characterization of Cryptosporidium spp. in water buffalos by nested-PCR. Non-diarrheic feces were obtained from 122 water buffalo calves. All samples were tested by nested-PCR based on the 18S rRNA gene, after which positive samples were analyzed by RFLP and genetic sequencing...
March 4, 2018: Research in Veterinary Science
A R H LeBlanc, M J MacDougall, Y Haridy, D Scott, R R Reisz
Many lizards can drop a portion of their tail in response to an attack by a predator, a behaviour known as caudal autotomy. The capacity for intravertebral autotomy among modern reptiles suggests that it evolved in the lepidosaur branch of reptilian evolution, because no such vertebral features are known in turtles or crocodilians. Here we present the first detailed evidence of the oldest known case of caudal autotomy, found only among members of the Early Permian captorhinids, a group of ancient reptiles that diversified extensively and gained a near global distribution before the end-Permian  mass extinction event of the Palaeozoic...
March 5, 2018: Scientific Reports
Kathryn M Everson, Kyndall B P Hildebrandt, Steven M Goodman, Link E Olson
Madagascar is one of the world's foremost biodiversity hotspots, yet a large portion of its flora and fauna remains undescribed and the driving forces of in situ diversification are not well understood. Recent studies have identified a widespread, latitudinally structured phylogeographic pattern in Madagascar's humid-forest mammals, amphibians, reptiles, and insects. Several factors may be driving this pattern, namely biogeographic barriers (i.e., rivers or valleys) or past episodes of forest contraction and expansion...
February 28, 2018: Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution
Ilse Corkery, Ben D Bell, Nicola J Nelson
A major focus in zoology is to understand the phenotypic responses of animals to environmental variation. This is particularly important when dealing with ectotherms in a thermally heterogenous environment. We measured body temperatures of a free-ranging, medium sized temperate reptile, the tuatara, Sphenodon punctatus, to investigate its thermal opportunities and the degree to which the animal actively regulates its body temperature. We found high variation in body temperature between individuals, but this variation could not be attributed to sex or body size...
February 7, 2018: Zoology: Analysis of Complex Systems, ZACS
Manuel E Ortiz-Santaliestra, Joao P Maia, Andrés Egea-Serrano, Isabel Lopes
Amphibians and reptiles are the two most endangered groups of vertebrates. Environmental pollution by pesticides is recognised as one of the major factors threatening populations of these groups. However, the effects of pesticides on amphibians and reptiles have been studied for few substances, which is partly related to the fact that these animals are not included in the mandatory toxicity testing conducted as part of environmental risk assessments of pesticides. Whether risks of pesticides to amphibians and reptiles are addressed by surrogate taxa used in risk assessment is currently under debate...
February 28, 2018: Ecotoxicology
Kelsey L Schoenemann, Frances Bonier
We often expect that investigations of the patterns, causes, and consequences of among-individual variation in a trait of interest will reveal how selective pressures or ecological conditions influence that trait. However, many endocrine traits, such as concentrations of glucocorticoid (GC) hormones, exhibit adaptive plasticity and, therefore, do not necessarily respond to these pressures as predicted by among-individual phenotypic correlations. To improve our interpretations of among-individual variation in GC concentrations, we need more information about the repeatability of these traits within individuals...
2018: PeerJ
David Costantini
Oxidative stress is a key physiological mechanism underlying life-history tradeoffs. Here, I use meta-analytic techniques to test whether sexual differences in oxidative balance are common in vertebrates and to identify which factors are associated with such differences. The dataset included 732 effect size estimates from 100 articles (82 species). Larger unsigned effect size (meaning larger sexual differences in a given marker) occurred in: reptiles and fish; those species that do not provide parental care; and oviparous species...
February 2018: Current Zoology
Cosme López-Calderón, Mónica Feriche, Esmeralda Alaminos, Juan M Pleguezuelos
The effects of climate change on organisms are now being extensively studied in many different taxa. However, the variation in body size, usually shrinkage in response to increasing temperature, has received little attention regarding to reptiles. During past periods of global warming, many organisms shrank in size, and current evidence and experiments manipulating temperature have shown a biomass decrease in some organisms with increasing temperatures. Here we test whether the body size of the Montpellier snake Malpolon monspessulanus from the southeastern Iberian Peninsula is changing and correlated with the increasing temperature in this region during a 39-year period (1976-2014)...
December 2017: Current Zoology
T F Quirino, A J M G Ferreira, M C Silva, R J Silva, D H Morais, R W Ávila
Forty five specimens representing nine species of reptile (Salvator merianae, Enyalius bilineatus, Amphisbaena alba, Xenopholis undulatus, Chironius fuscus, Helicops angulatus, Chironius flavolineatus, Erythrolamprus viridis and Crotalus durissus) collected in five Brazilian states were examined for helminths. Twelve helminth species were found as follow: nine Nematoda (Physaloptera tupinambae, Strongyluris oscari, Paracapillaria sp., Dracunculus brasiliensis, Physaloptera liophis, Serpentirhabias sp. 1, Serpentirhabias sp...
February 22, 2018: Brazilian Journal of Biology, Revista Brasleira de Biologia
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