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Michael F Brown, Marie E Saxon, Kelsey A Heslin
Rats searched for food in a situation that allowed them to determine which locations contained food after searching a small number of them, but not which of the baited locations contained more-preferred food rather than a less-preferred food. During some experimental trials, the latter information was available from the choices of model rats making choices together with the subject rats, because some of the model rats tended to choose the locations baited with more-preferred food. On the surface, the results suggest that social influence specified the locations of more-preferred food to the subject rats...
March 21, 2018: Learning & Behavior
Benjamin J Taylor, Robert L Jeanne
Many social insect species produce signals that either recruit foragers to a specific food source or simply activate more nestmates to become foragers. Both are means of enhancing resource exploitation by increasing the number of individuals devoted to gathering profitable resources. Gastral drumming (GD) has been documented in several species of yellowjackets and hornets (Vespidae: Vespinae). It has been hypothesized that it is a hunger signal, but there is little empirical evidence to support this claim. An alternative hypothesis is that GD recruits workers to forage for food...
March 21, 2018: Die Naturwissenschaften
Hannah Hesselbach, Ricarda Scheiner
Due to intensive agriculture honeybees are threatened by various pesticides. The use of one group of them, the neonicotinoids, was recently restricted by the European Union. These chemicals bind to the nicotinic acetylcholine receptor (nAchR) in the honeybee brain. Recently, Bayer AG released a new pesticide by the name of "Sivanto" against sucking insects. It is assumed to be harmless for honeybees, although its active ingredient, flupyradifurone, binds nAchR similar to the neonicotinoids. We investigated if this pesticide affects the taste for sugar and cognitive performance in honeybee foragers...
March 21, 2018: Scientific Reports
Wenxi Qian, Weiping Ao, Xiaohong Hui, Jianping Wu
The ruminal microbiota plays major roles in feed digestion. The composition and fermentation of the bacterial communities in three important ruminant species have been studied previously. Here, we extended this research to the effect of concentrate-to-forage ratios on ruminal bacterial communities in Tarim red deer (Cervus elaphus yarkandensis). Different concentrate-to-forage ratios [2:8, 3:7, 4:6 and 5:5] were fed to Tarim red deer for 20 days. Ruminal bacterial communities were elucidated by 16S ribosomal RNA gene sequencing on an Illumina HiSeq 2500 platform...
March 21, 2018: Canadian Journal of Microbiology
Elizabeth Bevan, Scott Whiting, Tony Tucker, Michael Guinea, Andrew Raith, Ryan Douglas
Drones are being increasingly used in innovative ways to enhance environmental research and conservation. Despite their widespread use for wildlife studies, there are few scientifically justified guidelines that provide minimum distances at which wildlife can be approached to minimize visual and auditory disturbance. These distances are essential to ensure that behavioral and survey data have no observer bias and form the basis of requirements for animal ethics and scientific permit approvals. In the present study, we documented the behaviors of three species of sea turtle (green turtles, Chelonia mydas, flatback turtles, Natator depressus, hawksbill turtles, Eretmochelys imbricata), saltwater crocodiles (Crocodylus porosus), and crested terns (Thalasseus bergii) in response to a small commercially available (1...
2018: PloS One
Caitlin Black, Colin Southwell, Louise Emmerson, Daniel Lunn, Tom Hart
Polar seabirds adopt different over-wintering strategies to survive and build condition during the critical winter period. Penguin species either reside at the colony during the winter months or migrate long distances. Tracking studies and survey methods have revealed differences in winter migration routes among penguin species and colonies, dependent on both biotic and abiotic factors present. However, scan sampling methods are rarely used to reveal non-breeding behaviors during winter and little is known about presence at the colony site over this period...
2018: PloS One
Sophie Marie Dupont, Christophe Barbraud, Olivier Chastel, Karine Delord, Stéphanie Ruault, Henri Weimerskirch, Frédéric Angelier
In wild vertebrates, young parents are less likely to successfully rear offspring relative to older ones because of lower parental skills ('the constraint hypothesis'), lower parental investment ('the restraint hypothesis') or because of a progressive disappearance of lower-quality individuals at young ages ('the selection hypothesis'). Because it is practically difficult to follow an offspring during its entire life, most studies have only focused on the ability of individuals to breed or produce young, while neglecting the ability of such young to subsequently survive and reproduce...
2018: PloS One
Richard Odemer, Lisa Nilles, Nadine Linder, Peter Rosenkranz
Neonicotinoids alone or in combination with pathogens are considered to be involved in the worldwide weakening of honey bees. We here present a new approach for testing sublethal and/or synergistic effects in free flying colonies. In our experiment individually marked honey bees were kept in free flying mini-hives and chronically exposed to sublethal doses of the neonicotinoid clothianidin. Additional groups of bees were challenged with Nosema infections or with combinations of the pesticide and pathogens. Longevity and flight activity of the differentially treated bees were monitored for a period of 18 days...
March 19, 2018: Ecotoxicology
Gerardo Martin, Carlos Yanez-Arenas, Carla Chen, Raina K Plowright, Rebecca J Webb, Lee F Skerratt
Disease risk mapping is important for predicting and mitigating impacts of bat-borne viruses, including Hendra virus (Paramyxoviridae:Henipavirus), that can spillover to domestic animals and thence to humans. We produced two models to estimate areas at potential risk of HeV spillover explained by the climatic suitability for its flying fox reservoir hosts, Pteropus alecto and P. conspicillatus. We included additional climatic variables that might affect spillover risk through other biological processes (such as bat or horse behaviour, plant phenology and bat foraging habitat)...
March 19, 2018: EcoHealth
Philip L Richardson, Ewan D Wakefield, Richard A Phillips
Background: Albatrosses and other large seabirds use dynamic soaring to gain sufficient energy from the wind to travel large distances rapidly and with little apparent effort. The recent development of miniature bird-borne tracking devices now makes it possible to explore the physical and biological implications of this means of locomotion in detail. Here we use GPS tracking and concurrent reanalyzed wind speed data to model the flight performance of wandering albatrosses Diomedea exulans soaring over the Southern Ocean...
2018: Movement Ecology
Douglas Baird, Andrew Fairbairn, Emma Jenkins, Louise Martin, Caroline Middleton, Jessica Pearson, Eleni Asouti, Yvonne Edwards, Ceren Kabukcu, Gökhan Mustafaoğlu, Nerissa Russell, Ofer Bar-Yosef, Geraldine Jacobsen, Xiaohong Wu, Ambroise Baker, Sarah Elliott
This paper explores the explanations for, and consequences of, the early appearance of food production outside the Fertile Crescent of Southwest Asia, where it originated in the 10th/9th millennia cal BC. We present evidence that cultivation appeared in Central Anatolia through adoption by indigenous foragers in the mid ninth millennium cal BC, but also demonstrate that uptake was not uniform, and that some communities chose to actively disregard cultivation. Adoption of cultivation was accompanied by experimentation with sheep/goat herding in a system of low-level food production that was integrated into foraging practices rather than used to replace them...
March 19, 2018: Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Ramesh J Pandit, Ankit T Hinsu, Shriram H Patel, Subhash J Jakhesara, Prakash G Koringa, Fosso Bruno, Androniki Psifidi, S V Shah, Chaitanya G Joshi
Zebu (Bos indicus) is a domestic cattle species originating from the Indian subcontinent and now widely domesticated on several continents. In this study, we were particularly interested in understanding the functionally active rumen microbiota of an important Zebu breed, the Gir, under different dietary regimes. Metagenomic and metatranscriptomic data were compared at various taxonomic levels to elucidate the differential microbial population and its functional dynamics in Gir cattle rumen under different roughage dietary regimes...
March 9, 2018: Systematic and Applied Microbiology
G E Chibisa, K A Beauchemin
Corn silage (CS) acreage in western Canada continues to expand with CS being used increasingly in feedlot cattle diets where barley silage (BS) previously was the main forage fed. Our study evaluated the effects of increasing the amounts of CS in backgrounding (BKGN) diets on performance of cattle by 1) replacing BS with early-maturing CS, 2) increasing the proportion of CS in the diet and 3) extending the BKGN duration. A total of 160 steers (mean BW ± SD; 272 ± 22.4 kg) were used in a completely randomized design...
March 15, 2018: Journal of Animal Science
Lysann Wagener, Maria Loconsole, Helen M Ditz, Andreas Nieder
Endowed with an elaborate cerebral cortex, humans and other primates can assess the number of items in a set, or numerosity, from birth on [1] and without being trained [2]. Whether spontaneous numerosity extraction is a unique feat of the mammalian cerebral cortex [3-7] or rather an adaptive property that can be found in differently designed and independently evolved neural substrates, such as the avian enbrain [8], is unknown. To address this question, we recorded single-cell activity from the nidopallium caudolaterale (NCL), a high-level avian association brain area [9-11], of numerically naive crows...
March 9, 2018: Current Biology: CB
Mark A Lee
Forage plants are valuable because they maintain wild and domesticated herbivores, and sustain the delivery of meat, milk and other commodities. Forage plants contain different quantities of fibre, lignin, minerals and protein, and vary in the proportion of their tissue that can be digested by herbivores. These nutritive components are important determinants of consumer growth rates, reproductive success and behaviour. A dataset was compiled to quantify variation in forage plant nutritive values within- and between-plant species, and to assess variation between plant functional groups and bioclimatic zones...
March 17, 2018: Journal of Plant Research
C E F Clark, R Kaur, L O Millapan, H M Golder, P C Thomson, A Horadagoda, M R Islam, K L Kerrisk, S C Garcia
Grain-based concentrate (GBC) supplement is of high cost to dairy farmers as a feed source as opposed to grazed pasture. Milk production response to GBC is affected by the composition and nutritive value of the remainder of the diet, animal factors, and interactions between forage type and level of GBC. In grazing systems, dairy cattle encounter contrasting pasture states, primarily because the social structure of the herd affects the timing of when each animal accesses a paddock after milking as a result of a relatively consistent cow milking order...
March 14, 2018: Journal of Dairy Science
A P B Fruet, F Trombetta, F S Stefanello, C S Speroni, J Z Donadel, A N M De Souza, A Rosado Júnior, C J Tonetto, R Wagner, A De Mello, J L Nörnberg
Pasture-finished beef is becoming more popular among consumers due to concerns related to fatty acid content and sustainable practices. The effects of finishing crossbred steers on legume-grass pasture comprised of oats, ryegrass, and clover (PAST), legume-grass pasture plus whole corn grain (WCG) supplementation (SUPP), and only with WCG (GRAIN) on fatty acids profile, volatile compounds, sensory, and texture attributes were studied. Pasture diets (PAST and SUPP) led to lower n-6/n-3 ratio (P < 0.001), and highest deposition of C18:2 cis-9 trans-11 (P < 0...
March 10, 2018: Meat Science
A Campollo-Ovalle, D Sánchez
Lestrimelitta spp. are stingless bees that steal food and nesting materials from other highly social bees to survive. Though most of their victim species respond, either aggressively or submissively, to cephalic components of Lestrimelitta, little is known about if such response changes at some point during extended periods of exposure. Moreover, potential synergistic effects due to a mixture of victim's alarm/defense pheromones and Lestrimelitta mandibular pheromones, like in an actual attack, have not been examined so far...
March 16, 2018: Neotropical Entomology
Vincent Lefebvre, Claire Villemant, Colin Fontaine, Christophe Daugeron
The cross-pollination of most alpine plants depends on insects, whose altitudinal distribution is limited by temperature. However, although global warming is causing shifts in temporal and spatial species distribution, we are still largely unaware of how plant-pollinator interactions change with elevation and time along altitudinal gradients. This makes the detection of endangered interactions and species challenging. In this study, we aimed at providing such a reference, and tested if and how the major flower-visiting insect orders and families segregated by altitude, phenology and foraging preferences along an elevational gradient from 970 m to 2700 m in the Alps...
March 16, 2018: Scientific Reports
O Bénichou, U Bhat, P L Krapivsky, S Redner
We introduce the frugal foraging model in which a forager performs a discrete-time random walk on a lattice in which each site initially contains S food units. The forager metabolizes one unit of food at each step and starves to death when it last ate S steps in the past. Whenever the forager eats, it consumes all food at its current site and this site remains empty forever (no food replenishment). The crucial property of the forager is that it is frugal and eats only when encountering food within at most k steps of starvation...
February 2018: Physical Review. E
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