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Rates of speciation and extinction are often linked to many ecological factors, traits (emergent and nonemergent) such as environmental tolerance, body size, feeding type, and geographic range. Marine gastropods in particular have been used to examine the role of larval dispersal in speciation. However, relatively few studies have been conducted placing larval modes in species-level phylogenetic context. Those that have, have not incorporated fossil data, while landmark macroevolutionary studies on fossil clades have not considered both phylogenetic context and net speciation (speciation–extinction) rates. This study utilizes Eocene volutid Volutospina species from the U.S. Gulf Coastal Plain and the Hampshire Basin, U.K., to explore the relationships among larval mode, geographic range, and duration. Based on the phylogeny of these Volutospina, we calculated speciation and extinction rates in order to compare the macroevolutionary effects of larval mode. Species with planktotrophic larvae had a median duration of 9.7 Myr, which compared significantly to 4.7 Myr for those with non-planktotrophic larvae. Larval mode did not significantly factor into geographic-range size, but U.S. and U.K. species do differ, indicating a locality-specific component to maximum geographic-range size. Non-planktotrophs (NPTs)were absent among the Volutospina species during the Paleocene–early Eocene. The relative proportions of NPTs increased in the early middle Eocene, and the late Eocene was characterized by disappearance of planktotrophs (PTs). The pattern of observed lineage diversity shows an increasing preponderance of NPTs; however, this is clearly driven by a dramatic extinction of PTs, rather than higher NPT speciation rates during the late Eocene. This study adds nuance to paleontology's understanding of the macroevolutionary consequences of larval mode.
The vacuum-exhausted isolation locker (VEIL) provides a safety barrier during the care of COVID-19 patients. The VEIL is a 175-L enclosure with exhaust ports to continuously extract air through viral particle filters connected to hospital suction. Our experiments show that the VEIL contains and exhausts exhaled aerosols and droplets.
Correct diagnosis of cause of death is necessary to suggest the most effective management interventions to reduce perinatal lamb mortality. Haemorrhage on the surface of the brain has been used as a field diagnostic tool to allocate lambs to a cause of death category, but the usefulness of this method was unclear. This study aimed to evaluate whether gross pathology was related to neuronal death and whether haemorrhage of the central nervous system (CNS) was distinct between differing causes of death, enabling indicators to be used in field diagnoses. Lambs dying from natural causes (n = 64) and from euthanasia (n = 7) underwent postmortem examination, then the brain and spinal cord were extracted and examined histologically. Histological changes consistent with neuronal death were not detected in any lamb. Haemorrhage of the meninges and/or parenchyma of the CNS occurred in all lambs. The age of the haemorrhage indicated that it occurred near the time of death in most lambs. Dilation of blood vessels varied in severity but appeared to be unrelated to causal diagnosis, severity of subcutaneous oedema, breathing or milk status. Moderate or severe dilation of blood vessels and haemorrhage of the CNS did not occur in all lambs with alternative clear indicators of dystocia and occurred in all death classifications, so it could not be used as diagnostic indicators for classification of cause of death. Dilation and haemorrhage were unrelated to neuronal damage and may have been artefactual. In conclusion, haemorrhage of the CNS was not indicative of neuronal damage and could not be used to distinguish between lambs with clear indicators of differing causes of death, so it is not recommended as a field diagnostic tool.
Given the complexity of the current nuclear age and the absence of work on deterrence under true multipolarity, interdisciplinary models can provide new perspectives on tailored deterrence. Drawing from recent findings in the life sciences, this article offers a cultural neuroscience approach to deterrence decision-making, with special attention given to the ways in which culture interacts with cognition and the security environment to shape behavioral outcomes during conflict. Since North Korea remains largely a “black box” in international relations, a cultural neuroscience perspective can provide valuable insight into the effects of cultural conditioning on perception and cognition within the context of nuclear deterrence on the Korean Peninsula. Through an analysis of the bureaucratic and military structures, leadership characteristics, and institutional landscapes shaping North Korean strategic culture, this article examines the influences of historical memory and cultural values, such as collectivism, honor, and face-saving, on political decision-making in Pyongyang.
Perinatal mortality of lambs is on average 20% of lambs born in extensive Australian grazing systems, constituting a substantial production loss and welfare concern. Hypoxia resulting from prolonged or difficult births contributes to lower rates of lamb survival, and caffeine may reduce the effects of hypoxia. This study evaluated whether oral supplementation of grazing ewes with caffeine could improve lamb survival. Pregnant Merino ewes (n=492) which had been naturally mated to Merino rams in February/March were allocated to three replicates of control (no caffeine) or caffeine treatments. Caffeine was fed daily in troughs in each paddock at a rate of 1.6 g/ewe per day (estimated at 20 mg/kg live weight) from the day before the first lamb was born, for 14 days, with lambing continuing for 6 weeks. Intake was facilitated using 320 g/day per ewe of barley grain with molasses, which was fed to both treatments. The proportion of lambs born alive during the period of supplementation did not differ (P>0.05) between treatments. The proportion mortality of lambs to 1 day of age was lower (P=0.029) in the caffeine (0.01) compared with the control (0.16) treatment for lambs born during the 1st week of supplementation, but not in later weeks. This difference in mortality for lambs born in the 1st week of supplementation was maintained to marking age (caffeine 0.09; control 0.30; P=0.027). Extreme weather during the 2nd week of supplementation may have prevented any reduction in mortality due to caffeine in that week. Feeding caffeine to a naturally lambing flock of grazing ewes may be a highly effective and commercially practical method of increasing lamb survival, but further research is needed to confirm these results, and caffeine be regulated for use.
Trypanosomes are blood-borne parasites that can cause severe disease in both humans and animals, yet little is known of the pathogenicity and life-cycles of trypanosomes in native Australian mammals. Trypanosoma copemani is known to be infective to a variety of Australian marsupials and has recently been shown to be potentially zoonotic as it is resistant to normal human serum. In the present study, in vivo and in vitro examination of blood and cultures from Australian marsupials was conducted using light microscopy, immunofluorescence, scanning electron microscopy and fluorescence in situ hybridization. Promastigote, sphaeromastigote and amastigote life-cycle stages were detected in vivo and in vitro. Novel trypanosome-like stages were also detected both in vivo and in vitro representing an oval stage, an extremely thin stage, an adherent stage and a tiny round stage. The tiny round and adherent stages appeared to adhere to erythrocytes causing potential haematological damage with clinical effects similar to haemolytic anaemia. The present study shows for the first time that trypomastigotes are not the only life-cycle stages circulating within the blood stream of trypanosome infected Australian native marsupials and provides insights into possible pathogenic mechanisms of this potentially zoonotic trypanosome species.
Two experiments were conducted to assess preference by sheep for endophyte-infected tall fescue growing in monoculture at least 5 m away from alfalfa (fescue-middle (FM)) over endophyte-infected tall fescue growing adjacent (0.2 to 1 m; fescue–alfalfa (FA)) to alfalfa (FA), and the effect of legume scent on preference for endophyte-infected tall fescue. In Experiment 1, 10 six-month-old lambs were offered for 12 days a choice of freshly harvested FA and FM. On days 13 and 14, lambs were offered the same choice, except cages (to allow access only to scent) containing freshly harvested alfalfa were put in the feeders containing FA, whereas cages containing freshly harvested FM were included with the feeders containing FM. Forage intake was measured 1 h after feeding and at three consecutive 2-h intervals thereafter. FA contained greater (P<0.002) concentrations of the alkaloid ergovaline (360±27 ppm) and CP (8±0.4%) than FM (219±27 ppm and 6±0.4%, respectively). Lambs preferred (P<0.05) FA to FM during the 1st hour of feeding, but the differences became smaller and disappeared in later feeding periods (P<0.005). Lambs offered FA with alfalfa scent or FM with FM scent preferred (P<0.05) FA but only on the 2nd day. In Experiment 2, 10 six-month-old lambs were offered a choice of FM with cages (to allow access only to scent) containing freshly harvested alfalfa or FM for 8 days. During the following 4 days, FM in the cages was replaced with freshly harvested sainfoin. Preference was greater (P<0.05) for FM offered with alfalfa scent than for FM offered with FM scent only on days 4 and 8. When lambs were offered FM with alfalfa or sainfoin in cages, they preferred (P<0.05) tall fescue with sainfoin scent over fescue with alfalfa scent, but intake was variable across hours and days (P<0.001). It is concluded that (1) lambs adjusted their intake of and preference for FA and FM over successive feeding bouts within each day, likely owing to an attempt to balance intakes of nutrients and alkaloids and (2) olfactory cues influenced preference, but to a lesser extent than nutrients and alkaloids in endophyte-infected tall fescue.
The principles of domestic herbivore nutrition are well understood and have been developed through detailed physiological studies, although methods to accurately measure field-based intake still challenge herbivore nutrition research. Nutritional ecology considers an animal's interaction with the environment based on its nutritional demands. Although there are a number of theoretical frameworks that can be used to explore nutritional ecology, optimal foraging provides a suitable starting point. Optimal foraging models have progressed from deterministic techniques to spatially explicit agent-based simulation methods. The development of optimal foraging modelling points towards opportunities for field-based research to explore behavioural preferences within studies that have an array of nutritional choices that vary both spatially and temporally. A number of techniques including weighing animals, weighing herbage, using markers (both natural and artificial) and sampling forage, using oesophageal-fistulated animals, have been used to determine intake in the field. These intake measurement techniques are generally most suited to studies that occur over a few days and with relatively small (often less than 10) groups of animals. Over the last 10 years, there have been a number of advances in automated behavioural monitoring technology (e.g. global positioning systems) to track animal movement. A number of recent studies have integrated detailed spatial assessments of vegetation using on-ground sampling and satellite remote sensing; these data have been linked to behavioural preferences of herbivores. Although the recent studies still do not address nutritional interactions over months or years, they do point to methods that could be used to address landscape scale nutritional interactions. Emerging telemetry techniques used to monitor herbivore behavioural preferences and also to determine detailed landscape vegetation mapping provide the opportunity for future herbivore nutritional ecology studies.
We hypothesised that (i) increased feeding motivation will cause sheep to move further apart as a result of individuals trying to find food and (ii) in conditions of high food availability, sheep will move less and show greater social attraction. The effects of both feeding motivation and food availability on spatial distribution was examined in eight groups of food-deprived (high feeding motivation) and satiated (low feeding motivation) sheep in good or poor food resource plots in a 2 × 2 design. Distance travelled was assessed using Global Positioning System collars, grazing time using scan sampling and social cohesion using proximity collars that record the number and duration of encounters within 4 m. Food-deprived sheep in the good-resource plots grazed the most, whereas satiated sheep in the poor-resource plots grazed the least (P = 0.004). Food deprivation had no significant effect on the number or duration of encounters and feeding motivation appeared to have little effect on spatial distribution. Contrary to expectation, sheep had more encounters (P = 0.04) of a longer total duration (P = 0.02) in poor-resource plots than in good-resource plots, indicating that sheep were showing more social cohesion if food was scarce. Our findings suggest that when food is scarce, animals may come together in an attempt to share information on food availability. However, when a highly preferred food is abundant and well dispersed, they may move apart in order to maximise the intake. It is concluded that the particular details of our experiment, namely the even distribution or absence of a highly preferred food, affected spatial distribution patterns as sheep tried to find this food and maximise the intake.
A total of 41 ticks were collected from 15 quokkas on Bald Island and 2 ticks from a Gilbert's potoroo from Two Peoples Bay. Three species of Ixodid ticks Ixodes australiensis, Ixodes hirsti and Ixodes myrmecobii were identified on the quokkas known to have a high prevalence of Trypanosoma copemani. Tick faeces from ticks isolated from 8 individual quokkas and a Gilbert's potoroo were examined with one identified as positive for trypanosomes. Faecal examination revealed trypanosomes similar to in vitro life-cycle stages of T. copemani. In total 12 ticks were dissected and trypanosomes found in sections of their midgut and haemolymph, 49 and 117 days after collection. Tick faeces, salivary glands and midguts from I. australiensis were screened using an 18S rRNA PCR with amplification seen only from the midguts. Sequencing showed 100% homology to T. copemani (genotype A) and 99·9% homology to the wombat (AII) isolate of T. copemani. Trypanosomes were only detected in I. australiensis as neither I. hirsti nor I. myrmecobii survived the initial 30-day storage conditions. We therefore identify a vector for T. copemani as I. australiensis and, given the detection of trypanosomes in the faeces, suggest that transmission is via the faecal-oral route.
A significant number of lambs born each year in Australia die within 72 h of birth. Periods of high wind, combined with rain and low temperatures can lead to marked increases in the mortality level. Under these climatic conditions mortality levels may be reduced with the provision of shelter. This study used contact loggers to compare interactions between ewes with twin lambs across two shelter types (Hessian and shrubs), while also comparing ewes with single and twin lambs in a single shelter type (Hessian). The contact loggers record the time of the initial contact (within approximately 4 to 5 m) between collared animals and the duration of each contact. Contact levels between ewes immediately after lambing were only 10% of the initial levels (1 h/day). For single-born lambs, lambs averaged 11 h contact per day with their mother, while for twinborn lambs, each lamb averaged 9.25 h/day with its mother and 14.7 h/day with its sibling. The level of contact between ewes and each of their offspring in the Hessian was 24% lower (P < 0.05) for ewes with twin lambs than with singles. For ewes with twin lambs the level of contact was 17% lower (P < 0.05) in the Hessian shelter compared with shrub shelter. We conclude that shelter type and birth number can affect the level of contact between ewes and their offspring.
Little is known of the prevalence and life-cycle of trypanosomes in mammals native to Australia. Native Australian trypanosomes have previously been identified in marsupials in the eastern states of Australia, with one recent report in brush-tailed bettongs (Bettongia penicillata), or woylie in Western Australia in 2008. This study reports a novel Trypanosoma sp. identified in blood smears, from 7 critically endangered Gilbert's potoroos (Potorous gilbertii) and 3 quokkas (Setonix brachyurus) in Western Australia. Trypanosomes were successfully cultured in vitro and showed morphological characteristics similar to members of the subgenus Herpetosoma. Phylogenetic analysis of 18S rRNA gene sequences identified 2 different novel genotypes A and B that are closely related to trypanosomes previously isolated from a common wombat (Vombatus ursinus) in Victoria, Australia. The new species is proposed to be named Trypanosoma copemani n. sp.
We report the control of molecular ordering of discotic liquid crystals in thin, blended films used in photovoltaic diodes. The external quantum efficiency (EQE%) of photovoltaic diodes incorporating a crystalline hexabenzocoronene (HBC) derivative is improved by lowering the surface energy of the transparent anode surface with a short alkyl chain. Upon increasing the length of the functionalizing group on the anode, we find that the relative efficiency of the HBC component in the blend improves. Evidence of changed film morphology is also presented.