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komodo dragon

Hiroki Shibata, Shuichi Sakata, Yuzo Hirano, Eiji Nitasaka, Ai Sakabe
In reptiles, the mode of reproduction is typically sexual. However, facultative parthenogenesis occurs in some Squamata, such as Komodo dragon (Varanus komodoensis) and Burmese python (Python bivittatus). Here, we report facultative parthenogenesis in the green anaconda (Eunectes murinus). We found two fully developed female neonates and 17 undeveloped eggs in the oviduct of a female anaconda isolated from other individuals for eight years and two months at Ueno Zoo, Japan. To clarify the zygosity of the neonates, we analyzed 18 microsatellite markers of which 16 were informative...
2017: PloS One
Hanneke J M Meijer, Rokus Awe Due, Thomas Sutikna, Wahyu Saptomo, Jatmiko, Sri Wasisto, Matthew W Tocheri, Gerald Mayr
BACKGROUND: Passerines (Aves: Passeriformes) dominate modern terrestrial bird communities yet their fossil record is limited. Liang Bua is a large cave on the Indonesian island of Flores that preserves Late Pleistocene-Holocene deposits (∼190 ka to present day). Birds are the most diverse faunal group at Liang Bua and are present throughout the stratigraphic sequence. METHODS: We examined avian remains from the Late Pleistocene deposits of Sector XII, a 2 × 2 m area excavated to about 8...
2017: PeerJ
Ezra M C Chung, Scott N Dean, Crystal N Propst, Barney M Bishop, Monique L van Hoek
Cationic antimicrobial peptides are multifunctional molecules that have a high potential as therapeutic agents. We have identified a histone H1-derived peptide from the Komodo dragon (Varanus komodoensis), called VK25. Using this peptide as inspiration, we designed a synthetic peptide called DRGN-1. We evaluated the antimicrobial and anti-biofilm activity of both peptides against Pseudomonas aeruginosa and Staphylococcus aureus. DRGN-1, more than VK25, exhibited potent antimicrobial and anti-biofilm activity, and permeabilized bacterial membranes...
2017: NPJ Biofilms and Microbiomes
Ronan Eustace, Michael M Garner, Kimberly Cook, Christine Miller, Matti Kiupel
  Multihormonal pancreatic islet cell carcinomas were found in one female and two male captive geriatric Komodo dragons (Varanus komodoensis). Gross changes in the pancreas were visible in two of the cases. Clinical signs noted in the Komodo dragons were lethargy, weakness, and anorexia. Histologically, the tumors were comprised of nests and cords of well-differentiated neoplastic islet cells with scant amounts of eosinophilic cytoplasm and round, euchromatic nuclei, with rare mitoses. Infiltration by the islet cell tumor into the surrounding acinar tissue was observed in all cases, but no metastatic foci were seen...
March 2017: Journal of Zoo and Wildlife Medicine: Official Publication of the American Association of Zoo Veterinarians
Barney M Bishop, Melanie L Juba, Paul S Russo, Megan Devine, Stephanie M Barksdale, Shaylyn Scott, Robert Settlage, Pawel Michalak, Kajal Gupta, Kent Vliet, Joel M Schnur, Monique L van Hoek
Komodo dragons are the largest living lizards and are the apex predators in their environs. They endure numerous strains of pathogenic bacteria in their saliva and recover from wounds inflicted by other dragons, reflecting the inherent robustness of their innate immune defense. We have employed a custom bioprospecting approach combining partial de novo peptide sequencing with transcriptome assembly to identify cationic antimicrobial peptides from Komodo dragon plasma. Through these analyses, we identified 48 novel potential cationic antimicrobial peptides...
April 7, 2017: Journal of Proteome Research
Embriette R Hyde, Jose A Navas-Molina, Se Jin Song, Jordan G Kueneman, Gail Ackermann, Cesar Cardona, Gregory Humphrey, Don Boyer, Tom Weaver, Joseph R Mendelson, Valerie J McKenzie, Jack A Gilbert, Rob Knight
Examining the way in which animals, including those in captivity, interact with their environment is extremely important for studying ecological processes and developing sophisticated animal husbandry. Here we use the Komodo dragon (Varanus komodoensis) to quantify the degree of sharing of salivary, skin, and fecal microbiota with their environment in captivity. Both species richness and microbial community composition of most surfaces in the Komodo dragon's environment are similar to the Komodo dragon's salivary and skin microbiota but less similar to the stool-associated microbiota...
July 2016: MSystems
Martina Johnson Pokorná, Marie Altmanová, Michail Rovatsos, Petr Velenský, Roman Vodička, Ivan Rehák, Lukáš Kratochvíl
The Komodo dragon (Varanus komodoensis) is the largest lizard in the world. Surprisingly, it has not yet been cytogenetically examined. Here, we present the very first description of its karyotype and sex chromosomes. The karyotype consists of 2n = 40 chromosomes, 16 macrochromosomes and 24 microchromosomes. Although the chromosome number is constant for all species of monitor lizards (family Varanidae) with the currently reported karyotype, variability in the morphology of the macrochromosomes has been previously documented within the group...
2016: Cytogenetic and Genome Research
Stephen D Ducey, Jeffrey S Cooper, Michael C Wadman
Komodo dragons (Varanus komodoensis) are large lizards known to take down prey even larger than themselves. They rarely attack humans. A 38-year-old woman was bitten by a Komodo dragon on her hand while cleaning its enclosure. She was transiently hypotensive. The wounds were extensively cleaned, and she was started on prophylactic antibiotics. Her wounds healed without any infectious sequelae. Komodo dragon bites are historically thought to be highly infectious and venomous. Based on a literature review, neither of these are likely true...
June 2016: Wilderness & Environmental Medicine
Deni Purwandana, Achmad Ariefiandy, M Jeri Imansyah, Aganto Seno, Claudio Ciofi, Mike Letnic, Tim S Jessop
Ontogenetic allometries in ecological habits and niche use are key responses by which individuals maximize lifetime fitness. Moreover, such allometries have significant implications for how individuals influence population and community dynamics. Here, we examined how body size variation in Komodo dragons (Varanus komodoensis) influenced ecological allometries in their: (1) prey size preference, (2) daily movement rates, (3) home range area, and (4) subsequent niche use across ontogeny. With increased body mass, Komodo dragons increased prey size with a dramatic switch from small (≤10 kg) to large prey (≥50 kg) in lizards heavier than 20 kg...
April 2016: Die Naturwissenschaften
Vincent Fernandez, Eric Buffetaut, Varavudh Suteethorn, Jean-Claude Rage, Paul Tafforeau, Martin Kundrát
Lizards are remarkable amongst amniotes, for they display a unique mosaic of reproduction modes ranging from egg-laying to live-bearing. Within this patchwork, geckoes are believed to represent the only group to ever have produced fully calcified rigid-shelled eggs, contrasting with the ubiquitous parchment shelled-eggs observed in other lineages. However, this hypothesis relies only on observations of modern taxa and fossilised gecko-like eggshells which have never been found in association with any embryonic or parental remains...
2015: PloS One
Tammy Culpepper Wolfe, Elizabeth Stringer, Sue Krauss, Tim Trout
This case report describes a new physical therapy technique, specifically the Wolfe Kinetic Technique, as adjunctive therapy in the treatment of severe osteoarthritis in a 20-yr-old Komodo dragon (Varanus komodoensis). This animal was managed with oral analgesics for 3 yr with fair to minimal response over time. Due to worsening of lameness and mobility, physical therapy was initiated. Ten treatment sessions were administered at 1-wk intervals. Within 1 mo the Komodo dragon exhibited marked improvement in gait and function, increased responsiveness to his environment, and increased mobility which continued to improve over the subsequent sessions...
March 2015: Journal of Zoo and Wildlife Medicine: Official Publication of the American Association of Zoo Veterinarians
Heather A Borek, Nathan P Charlton
Komodo dragons (Varanus komodoensis) are the world's largest lizards, known for killing prey that exceed their body mass. Reports of bites to humans in the popular press suggest high degrees of morbidity and mortality. Reports in the medical literature are lacking. We describe the case of a zookeeper who was bitten by a Komodo dragon, with a resultant mallet finger. We further discuss the various potential mechanisms of Komodo dragon lethality, including sepsis and venom deposition theories that are useful in guiding management...
June 2015: Wilderness & Environmental Medicine
Ellie J C Goldstein, Kerin L Tyrrell, Diane M Citron, Cathleen R Cox, Ian M Recchio, Ben Okimoto, Judith Bryja, Bryan G Fry
It has been speculated that the oral flora of the Komodo dragon (Varanus komodoensis) exerts a lethal effect on its prey; yet, scant information about their specific oral flora bacteriology, especially anaerobes, exists. Consequently, the aerobic and anaerobic oral bacteriology of 16 captive Komodo dragons (10 adults and six neonates), aged 2-17 yr for adults and 7-10 days for neonates, from three U.S. zoos were studied. Saliva and gingival samples were collected by zoo personnel, inoculated into anaerobic transport media, and delivered by courier to a reference laboratory...
June 2013: Journal of Zoo and Wildlife Medicine: Official Publication of the American Association of Zoo Veterinarians
Achmad Ariefiandy, Deni Purwandana, Aganto Seno, Claudio Ciofi, Tim S Jessop
Camera trapping has greatly enhanced population monitoring of often cryptic and low abundance apex carnivores. Effectiveness of passive infrared camera trapping, and ultimately population monitoring, relies on temperature mediated differences between the animal and its ambient environment to ensure good camera detection. In ectothermic predators such as large varanid lizards, this criterion is presumed less certain. Here we evaluated the effectiveness of camera trapping to potentially monitor the population status of the Komodo dragon (Varanus komodoensis), an apex predator, using site occupancy approaches...
2013: PloS One
Rebecca J Laver, Deni Purwandana, Achmad Ariefiandy, Jeri Imansyah, David Forsyth, Claudio Ciofi, Tim S Jessop
Somatic growth patterns represent a major component of organismal fitness and may vary among sexes and populations due to genetic and environmental processes leading to profound differences in life-history and demography. This study considered the ontogenic, sex-specific and spatial dynamics of somatic growth patterns in ten populations of the world's largest lizard the Komodo dragon (Varanus komodoensis). The growth of 400 individual Komodo dragons was measured in a capture-mark-recapture study at ten sites on four islands in eastern Indonesia, from 2002 to 2010...
2012: PloS One
Lee R Hagey, Shoujiro Ogawa, Narimi Kato, Rika Satoh née Okihara, Mizuho Une, Kuniko Mitamura, Shigeo Ikegawa, Alan F Hofmann, Takashi Iida
A key intermediate in the biosynthetic pathway by which C(24) bile acids are formed from cholesterol has long been considered to be varanic acid, (24ξ,25ξ)-3α,7α,12α-24-tetrahydroxy-5β-cholestan-27-oic acid. The (24R,25R)-epimer of this tetrahydroxy bile acid, in the form of its taurine N-acyl amidate, was thought to be the major biliary bile acid in lizards of the family Varanidae. We report here that a major biliary bile acid of three lizard species - the Komodo dragon (Varanus komodoensis), Gray's monitor (Varanus olivaceus), and the Gila monster (Heloderma suspectum) - is a novel epimer of varanic acid...
November 2012: Steroids
Domenic C D'Amore, Karen Moreno, Colin R McHenry, Stephen Wroe
In addition to biting, it has been speculated that the forces resulting from pulling on food items may also contribute to feeding success in carnivorous vertebrates. We present an in vivo analysis of both bite and pulling forces in Varanus komodoensis, the Komodo dragon, to determine how they contribute to feeding behavior. Observations of cranial modeling and behavior suggest that V. komodoensis feeds using bite force supplemented by pulling in the caudal/ventrocaudal direction. We tested these observations using force gauges/transducers to measure biting and pulling forces...
2011: PloS One
David C Collar, James A Schulte, Jonathan B Losos
Many features of species' biology, including life history, physiology, morphology, and ecology are tightly linked to body size. Investigation into the causes of size divergence is therefore critical to understanding the factors shaping phenotypic diversity within clades. In this study, we examined size evolution in monitor lizards (Varanus), a clade that includes the largest extant lizard species, the Komodo dragon (V. komodoensis), as well as diminutive species that are nearly four orders of magnitude smaller in adult body mass...
September 2011: Evolution; International Journal of Organic Evolution
Fredrick M Abrahamian, Ellie J C Goldstein
The microbiology of animal bite wound infections in humans is often polymicrobial, with a broad mixture of aerobic and anaerobic microorganisms. Bacteria recovered from infected bite wounds are most often reflective of the oral flora of the biting animal, which can also be influenced by the microbiome of their ingested prey and other foods. Bacteria may also originate from the victim's own skin or the physical environment at the time of injury. Our review has focused on bite wound infections in humans from dogs, cats, and a variety of other animals such as monkeys, bears, pigs, ferrets, horses, sheep, Tasmanian devils, snakes, Komodo dragons, monitor lizards, iguanas, alligators/crocodiles, rats, guinea pigs, hamsters, prairie dogs, swans, and sharks...
April 2011: Clinical Microbiology Reviews
Claudio Ciofi, Athanasia C Tzika, Chiara Natali, Phillip C Watts, Sri Sulandari, Moch S A Zein, Michel C Milinkovitch
Multiplex PCR assays for the coamplification of microsatellite loci allow rapid and cost-effective genetic analyses and the production of efficient screening protocols for international breeding programs. We constructed a partial genomic library enriched for di-nucleotide repeats and characterized 14 new microsatellite loci for the Komodo monitor (or Komodo dragon, Varanus komodoensis). Using these novel microsatellites and four previously described loci, we developed multiplex PCR assays that may be loaded on a genetic analyser in three separate panels...
May 2011: Molecular Ecology Resources
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