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Animal Physiology

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9 papers 25 to 100 followers
By Tom Wassmer Assistant Professor of Biology at Siena Heights University in Adrian, Michigan
Cory T Williams, Kathryn Wilsterman, Victor Zhang, Jeanette Moore, Brian M Barnes, C Loren Buck
The sexes differ in how and when they allocate energy towards reproduction, but how this influences phenotypic plasticity in daily activity patterns is unclear. Here, we use collar-mounted light loggers and triaxial accelerometers to examine factors that affect time spent above ground and overall dynamic body acceleration (ODBA), an index of activity-specific energy expenditure, across the active season of free-living, semi-fossorial arctic ground squirrels (Urocitellus parryii). We found high day-to-day variability in time spent above ground and ODBA with most of the variance explained by environmental conditions known to affect thermal exchange...
September 2016: Royal Society Open Science
Hannah M Ter Hofstede, John M Ratcliffe
Echolocation in bats and high-frequency hearing in their insect prey make bats and insects an ideal system for studying the sensory ecology and neuroethology of predator-prey interactions. Here, we review the evolutionary history of bats and eared insects, focusing on the insect order Lepidoptera, and consider the evidence for antipredator adaptations and predator counter-adaptations. Ears evolved in a remarkable number of body locations across insects, with the original selection pressure for ears differing between groups...
June 1, 2016: Journal of Experimental Biology
William R Driedzic
Rainbow smelt flourish at -1.8 °C, the freezing point of sea water. An antifreeze protein contributes to freeze point depression but, more importantly, cryoprotection is due to an elevation in osmotic pressure, by the accumulation of glycerol. The lower the water temperature, the higher the plasma glycerol with levels recorded as high as 400 mmol l(-1). Glycerol freely diffuses out in direct relation to the glycerol concentration and fish may lose as much as 15% of their glycerol reserve per day. Glycerol levels decrease from a maximum in February/March while water temperature is still sub-zero...
July 2015: Journal of Comparative Physiology. B, Biochemical, Systemic, and Environmental Physiology
John B Furness, David M Bravo
We discuss the relations of processed foods, especially cooked foods, in the human diet to digestive tract form and function. The modern consumption of over 70% of foods and beverages in highly refined form favours the diet-related classification of humans as cucinivores, rather than omnivores. Archaeological evidence indicates that humans have consumed cooked food for at least 300-400,000 years, and divergence in genes associated with human subpopulations that utilise different foods has been shown to occur over periods of 10-30,000 years...
December 2015: Journal of Comparative Physiology. B, Biochemical, Systemic, and Environmental Physiology
Jonathan M Yashari, Colleen G Duncan, Felix M Duerr
BACKGROUND: Accelerometers are motion-sensing devices that have been used to assess physical activity in dogs. However, the lack of a user-friendly, inexpensive accelerometer has hindered the widespread use of this objective outcome measure in veterinary research. Recently, a smartphone-based, affordable activity monitor (Whistle) has become available for measurement of at-home physical activity in dogs. The aim of this research was to evaluate this novel accelerometer. Eleven large breed, privately owned dogs wore a collar fitted with both the Whistle device and a previously validated accelerometer-based activity monitor (Actical) for a 24-h time period...
2015: BMC Veterinary Research
Luis E Vargas-Castro, Natalie V Sánchez, Gilbert Barrantes
Songbirds have been traditionally classified into close-ended or open-ended learning species according to the length of the sensitive period during which birds are able to memorize new vocalizations. Closed-ended learners are generally not capable of changing their song after the first year of life, while open-ended learners show song plasticity as adults. A few Turdus species have been suggested to be open-ended learners, but no long-term study has been conducted to investigate their song plasticity over time...
September 2015: Animal Cognition
Katie Hinde, Amy L Skibiel, Alison B Foster, Laura Del Rosso, Sally P Mendoza, John P Capitanio
The maternal environment exerts important influences on offspring mass/growth, metabolism, reproduction, neurobiology, immune function, and behavior among birds, insects, reptiles, fish, and mammals. For mammals, mother's milk is an important physiological pathway for nutrient transfer and glucocorticoid signaling that potentially influences offspring growth and behavioral phenotype. Glucocorticoids in mother's milk have been associated with offspring behavioral phenotype in several mammals, but studies have been handicapped by not simultaneously evaluating milk energy density and yield...
January 2015: Behavioral Ecology: Official Journal of the International Society for Behavioral Ecology
Samuel L Díaz-Muñoz
The influence of ecology on social behavior and mating strategies is one of the central questions in behavioral ecology and primatology. Callitrichines are New World primates that exhibit high behavioral variability, which is widely acknowledged, but not always systematically researched. Here, I examine the hypothesis that differences in the cost of infant care among genera help explain variation in reproductive traits. I present an integrative approach to generate and evaluate predictions from this hypothesis...
March 2016: American Journal of Primatology
Denys deCatanzaro
This article is part of a Special Issue (Chemosignals and Reproduction). Whether from endogenous or exogenous sources, 17β-estradiol (E2) has very powerful influences over mammalian female reproductive physiology and behavior. Given its highly lipophilic nature and low molecular mass, E2 readily enters excretions and can be absorbed from exogenous sources via nasal, cutaneous, and other modes of exposure. Indeed, systemic injection of tritiated estradiol ((3)H-E2) into a male mouse or bat has been shown to produce significant levels of radioactivity in the reproductive tissues and brain of cohabiting female conspecifics...
February 2015: Hormones and Behavior
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