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varanus komodoensis

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
Samuel T Turvey, Jennifer J Crees, James Hansford, Timothy E Jeffree, Nick Crumpton, Iwan Kurniawan, Erick Setiyabudi, Thomas Guillerme, Umbu Paranggarimu, Anthony Dosseto, Gerrit D van den Bergh
Historical patterns of diversity, biogeography and faunal turnover remain poorly understood for Wallacea, the biologically and geologically complex island region between the Asian and Australian continental shelves. A distinctive Quaternary vertebrate fauna containing the small-bodied hominin Homo floresiensis, pygmy Stegodon proboscideans, varanids and giant murids has been described from Flores, but Quaternary faunas are poorly known from most other Lesser Sunda Islands. We report the discovery of extensive new fossil vertebrate collections from Pleistocene and Holocene deposits on Sumba, a large Wallacean island situated less than 50 km south of Flores...
August 30, 2017: Proceedings. Biological Sciences
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
Taylor J M Dick, Christofer J Clemente
BACKGROUND: The functional design of skeletal muscles is shaped by conflicting selective pressures between support and propulsion, which becomes even more important as animals get larger. If larger animals were geometrically scaled up versions of smaller animals, increases in body size would cause an increase in musculoskeletal stress, a result of the greater scaling of mass in comparison to area. In large animals these stresses would come dangerously close to points of failure. By examining the architecture of 22 hindlimb muscles in 27 individuals from 9 species of varanid lizards ranging from the tiny 7...
2016: Frontiers in Zoology
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
Caleb Marshall Brown, Collin S VanBuren, Derek W Larson, Kirstin S Brink, Nicolás E Campione, Matthew J Vavrek, David C Evans
Tooth counts are commonly recorded in fossil diapsid reptiles and have been used for taxonomic and phylogenetic purposes under the assumption that differences in the number of teeth are largely explained by interspecific variation. Although phylogeny is almost certainly one of the greatest factors influencing tooth count, the relative role of intraspecific variation is difficult, and often impossible, to test in the fossil record given the sample sizes available to palaeontologists and, as such, is best investigated using extant models...
April 2015: Journal of Anatomy
Ankit Verma, Dhirendra Kumar Sharma, Rituparna Sarma, Hasnahana Chetia, Juri Saikia
BDNF (Brain derived neurotrophic factor) is a secretion protein and a member of the neurotrophin family of growth factors. Structural and functional characterization of BDNF Varanus komodoensis is of interest while its structure remains unknown. Thus, a homology molecular model of BDNF was constructed for gleaning possible structural insights. The model was compared with the structure of the homologous NGF (Nerve growth factor, another member of neuro-trophin family) from Naja atra. Comparative structural analysis of the models showed structural similarities with their predicted cavities for the interpretation of potential functional analogy...
2013: Bioinformation
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
Bryan G Fry, Nicholas R Casewell, Wolfgang Wüster, Nicolas Vidal, Bruce Young, Timothy N W Jackson
The evolutionary origin and diversification of the reptilian venom system is described. The resolution of higher-order molecular phylogenetics has clearly established that a venom system is ancestral to snakes. The diversification of the venom system within lizards is discussed, as is the role of venom delivery in the behavioural ecology of these taxa (particularly Varanus komodoensis). The more extensive diversification of the venom system in snakes is summarised, including its loss in some clades. Finally, we discuss the contentious issue of a definition for "venom", supporting an evolutionary definition that recognises the homology of both the venom delivery systems and the toxins themselves...
September 15, 2012: Toxicon: Official Journal of the International Society on Toxinology
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