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The development of Middle Preclassic (900–300 BC) ceremonial architecture is receiving more attention by archaeologists conducting research in the Maya Lowlands. Although a few examples have been partially excavated, there is still a dearth of information on how and why monumental constructions were originally built. This is largely because early structures often lie below several layers of sequential architecture, making them difficult to locate. Even when Middle Preclassic architecture is identified, exposure is often too limited to fully investigate its form and function. A well-preserved and accessible Middle Preclassic platform would be a rare find and could greatly enhance our knowledge and understanding of the subject. At Pacbitun, Cayo District, Belize, such a discovery has been made beneath the artificially raised surface of the main plaza. To make the most of this opportunity, five seasons of excavation worked to expose this massive building in its entirety. In this article, we provide details concerning the structural design of the platform and its abandonment, as well as present potential architectural comparisons. We conclude by reevaluating complexity at Pacbitun.
Previous research in mild cognitive impairment (MCI) suggests that visual episodic memory impairment may emerge before analogous verbal episodic memory impairment. The current study examined working memory (WM) test performance in MCI to assess whether patients present with greater visual versus verbal WM impairment. WM performance was also assessed in relation to hippocampal occupancy (HO), a ratio of hippocampal volume to ventricular dilation adjusted for demographic variables and intracranial volume.
Jak et al. (2009) (The American Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry, 17, 368–375) and Edmonds, Delano-Wood, Galasko, Salmon, & Bondi (2015) (Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease, 47(1), 231–242) criteria classify patients into four groups: little to no cognitive impairment (non-MCI); subtle cognitive impairment (SCI); amnestic MCI (aMCI); and a combined mixed/dysexecutive MCI (mixed/dys MCI). WM was assessed using co-normed Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale-IV (WAIS-IV) Digit Span Backwards and Wechsler Memory Scale-IV (WMS-IV) Symbol Span Z-scores.
Between-group analyses found worse WMS-IV Symbol Span and WAIS-IV Digit Span Backwards performance for mixed/dys MCI compared to non-MCI patients. Within-group analyses found no differences for non-MCI patients; however, all other groups scored lower on WMS-IV Symbol Span than WAIS-IV Digit Span Backwards. Regression analysis with HO as the dependent variable was statistically significant for WMS-IV Symbol Span performance. WAIS-IV Digit Span Backwards performance failed to reach statistical significance.
Worse WMS-IV Symbol Span performance was observed in patient groups with measurable neuropsychological impairment and better WMS-IV Symbol Span performance was associated with higher HO ratios. These results suggest that visual WM may be particularly sensitive to emergent illness compared to analogous verbal WM tests.
Places such as Poverty Point, Mound City, and Chaco Canyon remind us that the siting of ritual infrastructure in ancient North America was a matter of cosmological precedent. The cosmic gravity of these places gathered persons periodically in numbers that challenged routine production. Ritual economies intensified, but beyond the material demands of hosting people, the siting of these places and the timing of gatherings were cosmic work that preconfigured these outcomes. A first millennium AD civic-ceremonial center on the northern Gulf Coast of Florida illustrates the rationale for holding feasts on the end of a parabolic dune that it shared with an existing mortuary facility. Archaeofauna from large pits at Shell Mound support the inference that feasts were timed to summer solstices. Gatherings were large, judging from the infrastructure in support of feasts and efforts to intensify production through oyster mariculture and the construction of a large tidal fish trap. The 250-year history of summer solstice feasts at Shell Mound reinforces the premise that ritual economies were not simply the amplification of routine production. It also suggests that the ecological potential for intensification was secondary to the cosmic significance of solstice-oriented dunes and their connection to mortuary and world-renewal ceremonialism.
Specimens (n = 508) of eight species of owl (Aves: Strigiformes) collected from 1994 to 2017 in Manitoba, Canada, were weighed and examined for chewing lice (Phthiraptera: Amblycera, Ischnocera). The relationship between host body mass and infestation by 12 species of lice was examined. Host body mass explained 52% (P = 0.03) of the variation in mean intensity of louse infestation among hosts, due primarily to a high abundance of lice on the heaviest owl species. The relationship was due to the mean intensity of lice, and neither species richness nor the prevalence of lice was related to host body mass. For individual louse species, the relationship was due primarily to Kurodaia acadicae Price and Beer, Kurodaia magna Emerson, and an undetermined species of Kurodaia Uchida (Phthiraptera: Menoponidae) (R2 = 0.997), but not the nine Strigiphilus Mjöberg (Phthiraptera: Philopteridae) species (R2 = 0.27). Louse intensity did not increase with body size for individual birds of any of the owl species. Mean intensity is expected to increase in proportion with the size, specifically the surface area, of the host. Why that relationship holds only for one louse genus, and not for the most abundant genus of lice on owls, and weakly compared with other families of birds, has yet to be determined.
Eleven of the 12 species of owls (Aves: Strigidae, Tytonidae) known to occur in Manitoba, Canada, were examined for chewing lice (Phthiraptera: Amblycera, Ischnocera) from 1976 to 2015: barn owl (Tyto alba (Scopoli); Aves: Tytonidae) (n = 2), snowy owl (Bubo scandiacus (Linnaeus); Aves: Strigidae) (n = 77), great horned owl (Bubo virginianus (Gmelin); Aves: Strigidae) (n = 262), great grey owl (Strix nebulosa Förster; Aves: Strigidae) (n = 142), barred owl (Strix varia Barton; Aves: Strigidae) (n = 10), northern hawk owl (Surnia ulula (Linnaeus); Aves: Strigidae) (n = 18), short-eared owl (Asio flammeus (Pontoppidan); Aves: Strigidae) (n = 74), long-eared owl (Asio otus (Linnaeus); Aves: Strigidae) (n = 67), eastern screech owl (Megascops aslo (Linnaeus); Aves: Strigidae) (n = 59), boreal owl (Aegolius funereus (Linnaeus); Aves: Strigidae) (n = 47), and northern saw-whet owl (Aegolius acadicus (Gmelin); Aves: Strigidae) (n = 44), a total of 802 owls. No lice were found infesting barn owl (Tyto alba (Scopoli); Aves: Tytonidae) or eastern screech owl (Megascops asio (Linnaeus); Aves: Strigidae). We collected a total of 113 810 lice of 12 species: Kurodaia Uchida (Phthiraptera: Menoponidae) – three species; and Strigiphilus Mjöberg (Phthiraptera: Philopteridae) – nine species. Overall prevalence of infestation ranged from 10.0% to 88.9%. Mean intensity for total lice ranged from 22.4 to 506.5. Infestation parameters for each louse–host combination are provided; prevalence and mean intensity were not related for louse–host species combinations. Distribution of louse infestations was highly aggregated. In all louse–host combinations but one, either females were more prevalent than males or there was no significant deviation from 50:50. Male Strigiphilus ceblebrachys Denny significantly outnumbered females in snowy owls. There was a tendency for louse species to co-occur on the same host specimen. Where sample sizes for owls were large enough, no seasonal patterns in abundance of lice were detected.
Small-angle x-ray scattering (SAXS) and wide-angle x-ray diffraction (WAXD) data are used to establish relationships among the degree of crystallinity, melting temperature and lamellar thickness for random copolymers of poly(β-hydroxybutyrate-co-β-hydroxyvaierate) (PHB/V). The morphology of this isodimorphic system is best described by a two phase model consisting of crystalline and amorphous domains having density fluctuations within each domain. The Sanchez-Eby inclusion model is used to predict melting point depression in these materials and, combined with SAXS data, to gain insight into the degree of inclusion of hydroxy valerate units within the polyhydroxybutyrate crystalline domains.
Cretaceous aquatic ecosystems were amazingly diverse, containing most clades of extant aquatic vertebrates as well as an array of sharks and rays not present today. Here we report on the chondrichthyan fauna from the late Maastrichtian site that yielded the Tyrannosaurus rex skeleton FMNH PF 2081 (“SUE”). Significant among the recovered fauna is an unidentified species of carcharhinid shark that adds to the fossil record of this family in the Cretaceous, aligning with estimates from molecular evidence of clade originations. Additionally, a new orectolobiform shark, here named Galagadon nordquistae n. gen. n. sp., is diagnosed on the basis on several autapomorphies from over two-dozen teeth. Common chondrichthyan species found at the “SUE” locality include Lonchidion selachos and Myledaphus pustulosus. Two phylogenetic analyses (Maximum Parsimony and Bayesian Inference) based on twelve original dental character traits combined with 136 morphological traits from a prior study of 28 fossil and extant taxa, posited Galagadon n. gen. in two distinct positions: as part of a clade inclusive of the fossil species Cretorectolobus olsoni and Cederstroemia triangulata plus extant orectolobids from the Maximum Parsimony analysis; and as the sister taxon to all extant hemiscyllids from the Bayesian Inference. Model-based biogeographical reconstructions based on both optimal trees suggest rapid island hopping-style dispersal from the Western Pacific to the Western Interior Seaway of North America where Galagadon n. gen. lived. Alternatively, the next preferred model posits a broader, near-global distribution of Orectolobiformes with Galagadon n. gen. dispersing into its geographic position from this large ancestral range.
Thermoelectric technology has key benefits and strengths in many terrestrial energy recovery applications. Thermoelectric system cost is a key factor governing final decisions on the use of thermoelectric energy recovery systems in all terrestrial applications; thus cost being just as important as power density or efficiency for the adoption of waste energy recovery (WER) thermoelectric generators (TEG). New integrated cost analysis / thermoelectric analysis approaches have now shown key relationships and interdependencies between overall TEG system costs, including TE material costs, manufacturing costs, and specifically heat exchanger costs; and the TE performance design metrics such as TE material properties, TE device design parameters, heat exchanger performance metrics such as hot-side and cold-side conductances and UA values, and hot side heat flux in achieving optimal TEG WER designs. These new approaches have led to a new thermoelectric system economics paradigm that strongly influences TEG cost and performance decisions. While prior work provided foundations for the latest cost scaling analysis / TE performance analysis, this new work offers new insights and understandings and provides the basis for new thermoelectric system economics. Optimum TEG system cost conditions can now be tied directly to the TE materials, TEG design parameters, and heat exchanger design parameters through critical non-dimensional analysis. The non-dimensional analysis and metrics show the TEG system cost and performance interdependencies and intercouplings in one unifying and cohesive relationship. Prior work by T.J. Hendricks, S.K. Yee, and S. LeBlanc, J of Electronic Mater, 45, (3), 1751-1761, 2015 has shown that the system design that minimizes cost (e.g., the G [$/W] value) can be close to designs that maximize power, but these design regimes are not necessarily aligned with high system conversion efficiency or high specific power. Key sensitivities and interrelationships between critical cost metrics and critical TE performance and design metrics in the new thermoelectric system economics paradigm are explored. Quantitative data showing these sensitivities and their implications on TEG system design in terrestrial WER applications are presented. Critical non-dimensional parameter mapping has shown where heat exchanger cost- dominated conditions, TE material or manufacturing cost-dominated conditions, and combinations of cost conditions control and drive the overall TEG cost and performance. This new cost-performance paradigm shows the required pathways and challenges to achieving TEG system costs of $1 -$3/Welec.