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Monday, 10 August 2015

What's new for 'birdRS' in PubMed. August Week 2: 2015

This message contains My NCBI what's new results from the National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI) at the U.S. National Library of Medicine (NLM).

PubMed Results
1. J Wildl Dis. 2015 Aug 7. [Epub ahead of print] 

Avian Cholera Causes Marine Bird Mortality in the Bering Sea of Alaska. 
Bodenstein B(1), Beckmen K(2), Sheffield G(3), Kuletz K(4), Van Hemert C(5), Berlowski B(1), Shearn-Bochsler V(1). Author information: (1)1  US Geological Survey, National Wildlife Health Center, 6006 Schroeder Rd., Madison, Wisconsin 53711, USA. (2)2  Alaska Department of Fish and Game, Division of Wildlife Conservation, 1300 College Road, Fairbanks, Alaska 99701, USA. (3)3  University of Alaska Fairbanks, Marine Advisory Program, Pouch 400, Nome, Alaska 99762, USA. (4)4  US Fish and Wildlife Service, Migratory Bird Management, 1011 E. Tudor Rd., Anchorage, Alaska 99503, USA. (5)5  US Geological Survey, Alaska Science Center, 4210 University Drive, Anchorage, Alaska 99508, USA. 

Abstract
The first known avian cholera outbreak among wild birds in Alaska occurred during November 2013. Liver, intestinal, and splenic necrosis consistent with avian cholera was noted, and Pasteurella multocida serotype 1 was isolated from liver and lung or spleen in Crested Auklets (Aethia cristatella), Thick-billed Murres (Uria lomvia), Common Eider (Somateria mollissima), Northern Fulmars (Fulmarus glacialis), and Glaucous-winged Gulls (Larus glaucescens). PMID: 26251989 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher] 


2. BMC Genomics. 2015 Aug 7;16:587. doi: 10.1186/s12864-015-1798-4. 

Systems toxicology identifies mechanistic impacts of 2-amino-4,6-dinitrotoluene (2A-DNT) exposure in Northern Bobwhite. 
Gust KA(1), Nanduri B(2), Rawat A(3), Wilbanks MS(4), Ang CY(5), Johnson DR(6), Pendarvis K(7,)(8), Chen X(9), Quinn MJ Jr(10), Johnson MS(11), Burgess SC(12), Perkins EJ(13). Author information: (1)Environmental Laboratory, US Army Engineer Research and Development Center, EL-EP-P, 3909 Halls Ferry Rd, Vicksburg, MS, 39180, USA. kurt.a.gust@usace.army.mil. (2)Institute for Digital Biology, Mississippi State University, Starkville, MS, 39762, USA. bnanduri@cvm.msstate.edu. (3)Translational Genomics Research Institute, Phoenix, AZ, 85004, USA. rawat.arun@gmail.com. (4)Environmental Laboratory, US Army Engineer Research and Development Center, EL-EP-P, 3909 Halls Ferry Rd, Vicksburg, MS, 39180, USA. mitchell.s.wilbanks@usace.army.mil. (5)Badger Technical Services, San Antonio, TX, 71286, USA. chooyaw@hotmail.com. (6)Conestoga-Rovers & Associates, Dallas, TX, 75234, USA. drj0054@gmail.com. (7)University of Arizona, School of Animal and Comparative Biomedical Sciences, Tucson, AZ, 85721, USA. jkpendarvis@email.arizona.edu. (8)Bio5 Institute, University of Arizona, Tucson, AZ, 85721, USA. jkpendarvis@email.arizona.edu. (9)IFXworks LLC, 2915 Columbia Pike, Arlington, VA, 22204, USA. xianfeng.chen@ifxworks.com. (10)US Army Public Health Command, Aberdeen Proving Ground, Aberdeen, MD, 21010, USA. michael.j.quinn104.civ@mail.mil. (11)US Army Public Health Command, Aberdeen Proving Ground, Aberdeen, MD, 21010, USA. mark.s.johnson.civ@mail.mil. (12)University of Arizona, College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, Tucson, AZ, 85721, USA. dean@cals.arizona.edu. (13)Environmental Laboratory, US Army Engineer Research and Development Center, EL-EP-P, 3909 Halls Ferry Rd, Vicksburg, MS, 39180, USA. edward.j.perkins@usace.army.mil. 

Abstract
BACKGROUND: A systems toxicology investigation comparing and integrating transcriptomic and proteomic results was conducted to develop holistic effects characterizations for the wildlife bird model, Northern bobwhite (Colinus virginianus) dosed with the explosives degradation product 2-amino-4,6-dinitrotoluene (2A-DNT). A subchronic 60d toxicology bioassay was leveraged where both sexes were dosed via daily gavage with 0, 3, 14, or 30 mg/kg-d 2A-DNT. Effects on global transcript expression were investigated in liver and kidney tissue using custom microarrays for C. virginianus in both sexes at all doses, while effects on proteome expression were investigated in liver for both sexes and kidney in males, at 30 mg/kg-d. RESULTS: As expected, transcript expression was not directly indicative of protein expression in response to 2A-DNT. However, a high degree of correspondence was observed among gene and protein expression when investigating higher-order functional responses including statistically enriched gene networks and canonical pathways, especially when connected to toxicological outcomes of 2A-DNT exposure. Analysis of networks statistically enriched for both transcripts and proteins demonstrated common responses including inhibition of programmed cell death and arrest of cell cycle in liver tissues at 2A-DNT doses that caused liver necrosis and death in females. Additionally, both transcript and protein expression in liver tissue was indicative of induced phase I and II xenobiotic metabolism potentially as a mechanism to detoxify and excrete 2A-DNT. Nuclear signaling assays, transcript expression and protein expression each implicated peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor (PPAR) nuclear signaling as a primary molecular target in the 2A-DNT exposure with significant downstream enrichment of PPAR-regulated pathways including lipid metabolic pathways and gluconeogenesis suggesting impaired bioenergetic potential. CONCLUSION: Although the differential expression of transcripts and proteins was largely unique, the consensus of functional pathways and gene networks enriched among transcriptomic and proteomic datasets provided the identification of many critical metabolic functions underlying 2A-DNT toxicity as well as impaired PPAR signaling, a key molecular initiating event known to be affected in di- and trinitrotoluene exposures. PMID: 26251320 [PubMed - in process] 


3. J Mol Evol. 2015 Aug 7. [Epub ahead of print] Coronaviruses 

Detected in Brazilian Wild Birds Reveal Close Evolutionary Relationships with Beta- and Deltacoronaviruses Isolated From Mammals. 
Durães-Carvalho R(1), Caserta LC, Barnabé AC, Martini MC, Ferreira HL, Felippe PA, Santos MB, Arns CW. Author information: (1)University of Campinas (UNICAMP), Campinas, SP, Brazil, rdcarval@gmail.com. 

Abstract
This study showed that the most of the coronaviruses (CoVs) detected in Brazilian wild birds clustered with the mouse hepatitis virus A59 strain, belonging to the BetaCoV group. Furthermore, CoV detected in two different bird species, Amazona vinacea and Brotogeris tirica, clustered with a CoV isolated from Sparrow (SpaCoV HKU17) belonging to a monophyletic group related with the CoVs isolated from swines (PorCoV HKU15), both belonging to the DeltaCoV genus, previously unreported in South America. Considering the risk of inter-species host switching and further adaptation to new hosts, detection in bird species of CoVs closely related to mammal CoVs should warn for the potential emergence of new threatening viruses. PMID: 26250156 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher] 


4. Zootaxa. 2015 Jun 9;3968(1):1-81. doi: 10.11646/zootaxa.3968.1.1.  
Checklist of the Quill mites (Acariformes: Syringophilidae) of the World. 
Glowska E(1), Chrzanowski M(2), Kaszewska K(2). Author information: (1)Adam Mickiewicz University, Faculty of Biology, Department of Animal Morphology, Umultowska 89, 61-614 Poznan, Poland; Email: glowska@amu.edu.pl. (2)Adam Mickiewicz University, Faculty of Biology, Department of Animal Morphology, Umultowska 89, 61-614 Poznan, Poland; Email: unknown. 

Abstract
Mites of the family Syringophilidae (Acariformes: Cheyletoidea) are ectoparasites inhabiting the quills of various feather types in many groups of birds. Until now, 334 valid species and 60 genera of quill mites have been described and recorded from 482 bird species (95 families and 24 orders). Currently, the family is divided into 2 subfamilies: Syringophilinae Lavoipierre, 1953 with 260 species grouped in 49 genera, and Picobinae Johnston and Kethley, 1973 with 74 species grouped in 11 genera. Mites of the subfamily Syringophilinae inhabit quills of primaries, secondaries, tertials, rectrices and wing coverts and just occasionally the body feathers; representatives of the subfamily Picobinae live predominantly inside the body feathers. The rapid increase of the knowledge on biodiversity and systematics of quill mites started in end of the 1990s; numerous new descriptions appeared since that time and taxonomic rearrangements make an urgent need to summarize all previous data. We present a complete checklist of the family Syringophilidae of the world including the following data: a species name, author(s), references, a number of first page of description, figure numbers in descriptions, depository of type and non-type materials, host spectrum and geographical distribution. The checklist is additionally provided with the table including bird hosts and associated quill mite species. PMID: 26249476 [PubMed - in process] 


5. J Evol Biol. 2015 Aug 6. doi: 10.1111/jeb.12717. [Epub ahead of print] 

Disruptive viability selection on a black plumage trait associated with dominance. 
Acker P(1,)(2), Grégoire A(1), Rat M(3), Spottiswoode CN(3,)(4), van Dijk RE(5), Paquet M(1,)(3), Kaden JC(5,)(6), Pradel R(1), Hatchwell BJ(5), Covas R(3,)(7,)(8), Doutrelant C(1,)(3). Author information: (1)CEFE UMR 5175, CNRS - Université de Montpellier - Université Paul-Valéry Montpellier - EPHE, 1919 route de Mende, F-34293, Montpellier, Cedex 05, France. (2)Université Toulouse 3 Paul Sabatier, CNRS, ENFA; UMR 5174 EDB (Laboratoire Évolution & Diversité Biologique), 118 route de Narbonne, F-31062, Toulouse, France. (3)Percy FitzPatrick Institute, DST-NRF Centre of Excellence, University of Cape Town, Rondebosch, 7701, South Africa. (4)Department of Zoology, University of Cambridge, Downing Street, Cambridge, CB2 3EJ, United Kingdom. (5)Department of Animal and Plant Sciences, University of Sheffield, Western Bank, Sheffield, S10 2TN, United Kingdom. (6)The Royal Zoological Society of Scotland, Edinburgh Zoo, 134 Corstorphine Road, Edinburgh, EH12 6TS, United Kingdom. (7)CIBIO, University of Porto, Rua Monte-Crasto, 4485-661, Vairão, Portugal. (8)Biology Department, Science Faculty, University of Porto, Porto, Portugal. 

Abstract
Traits used in communication, such as colour signals, are expected to have positive consequences for reproductive success, but their associations with survival are little understood. Previous studies have mainly investigated linear relationships between signals and survival, but both hump-shaped and U-shaped relationships can also be predicted, depending on the main costs involved in trait expression. Furthermore, few studies have taken the plasticity of signals into account in viability selection analyses. The relationship between signal expression and survival is of particular interest in melanin-based traits, because their main costs are still debated. Here, we first determined the main factors explaining variability in a melanin-based trait linked to dominance: the bib size of a colonial bird, the sociable weaver Philetairus socius. We then used these analyses to obtain a measure representative of the individual mean expression of bib size. Finally, we used capture-recapture models to study how survival varied in relation to bib size. Variation in bib size was strongly affected by year and moderately affected by age, body condition and colony size. In addition, individuals bearing small and large bibs had higher survival than those with intermediate bibs, and this U-shaped relationship between survival and bib size appeared to be more pronounced in some years than others. These results constitute a rare example of disruptive viability selection, and point towards the potential importance of social costs incurred by the dominance signalling function of badges of status. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved. PMID: 26249359 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher] 


6. Biol Lett. 2015 Aug;11(8). pii: 20150155. doi: 10.1098/rsbl.2015.0155. 

A blueprint for vocal learning: auditory predispositions from brains to genomes. 
Wheatcroft D(1), Qvarnström A(2). Author information: (1)Animal Ecology/Department of Ecology and Genetics, Uppsala University, Norbyvägen 18D, SE-752 36 Uppsala, Sweden david.wheatcroft@ebc.uu.se. (2)Animal Ecology/Department of Ecology and Genetics, Uppsala University, Norbyvägen 18D, SE-752 36 Uppsala, Sweden. 

Abstract
Memorizing and producing complex strings of sound are requirements for spoken human language. We share these behaviours with likely more than 4000 species of songbirds, making birds our primary model for studying the cognitive basis of vocal learning and, more generally, an important model for how memories are encoded in the brain. In songbirds, as in humans, the sounds that a juvenile learns later in life depend on auditory memories formed early in development. Experiments on a wide variety of songbird species suggest that the formation and lability of these auditory memories, in turn, depend on auditory predispositions that stimulate learning when a juvenile hears relevant, species-typical sounds. We review evidence that variation in key features of these auditory predispositions are determined by variation in genes underlying the development of the auditory system. We argue that increased investigation of the neuronal basis of auditory predispositions expressed early in life in combination with modern comparative genomic approaches may provide insights into the evolution of vocal learning. © 2015 The Author(s). PMID: 26246333 [PubMed - in process]  

7. J Hered. 2015;106 Suppl 1:560-4. doi: 10.1093/jhered/esv035. 

DNA Barcoding Identifies Illegal Parrot Trade. 
Gonçalves PF(1), Oliveira-Marques AR(1), Matsumoto TE(1), Miyaki CY(2). Author information: (1)From the Departamento de Genética e Biologia Evolutiva, Instituto de Biociências, Universidade de São Paulo, Rua do Matão, 277, São Paulo, SP 05508-090, Brazil. (2)From the Departamento de Genética e Biologia Evolutiva, Instituto de Biociências, Universidade de São Paulo, Rua do Matão, 277, São Paulo, SP 05508-090, Brazil. cymiyaki@usp.br. 

Abstract
Illegal trade threatens the survival of many wild species, and molecular forensics can shed light on various questions raised during the investigation of cases of illegal trade. Among these questions is the identity of the species involved. Here we report a case of a man who was caught in a Brazilian airport trying to travel with 58 avian eggs. He claimed they were quail eggs, but authorities suspected they were from parrots. The embryos never hatched and it was not possible to identify them based on morphology. As 29% of parrot species are endangered, the identity of the species involved was important to establish a stronger criminal case. Thus, we identified the embryos' species based on the analyses of mitochondrial DNA sequences (cytochrome c oxidase subunit I gene [COI] and 16S ribosomal DNA). Embryonic COI sequences were compared with those deposited in BOLD (The Barcode of Life Data System) while their 16S sequences were compared with GenBank sequences. Clustering analysis based on neighbor-joining was also performed using parrot COI and 16S sequences deposited in BOLD and GenBank. The results, based on both genes, indicated that 57 embryos were parrots (Alipiopsitta xanthops, Ara ararauna, and the [Amazona aestiva/A. ochrocephala] complex), and 1 was an owl. This kind of data can help criminal investigations and to design species-specific anti-poaching strategies, and demonstrate how DNA sequence analysis in the identification of bird species is a powerful conservation tool. © The American Genetic Association 2015. All rights reserved. For permissions, please e-mail: journals.permissions@oup.com. PMID: 26245790 [PubMed - in process] 


8. J Vet Sci. 2015 Aug 4. [Epub ahead of print] 

Experimental infection and pathology of Clade 2.2 H5N1 virus in gulls. 
Gulyaeva MA(1), Sharshov KA(2,)(1), Zaykovskaia AV(3), Shestopalova LV(1), Shestopalov AM(2,)(1). Author information: (1)Novosibirsk State University, Pirogova st., 2 , Novosibirsk 630090, Russia. (2)Research Center of Clinical and Experimental Medicine, Siberian Branch of Russian Academy of Medical Sciences, Timakova st., 2, Novosibirsk 630117, Russia. (3)State Research Center of Virology and Biotechnology "Vector", Koltsovo, Novosibirsk region 630559, Russia. 

Abstract
During 2006, H5N1 HPAI caused an epizootic in wild birds resulting in a die-off of Laridae in Novosibirsk region at Chany Lake. In the present study we infected Common gulls (Larus canus) with a high dose of the H5N1 HPAI virus isolated from a Common gull to see if severe disease could be induced over the 28 day experimental period. Moderate clinical signs including diarrhea, conjunctivitis, respiratory distress and neurological signs were observed in virus- inoculated birds and 50% died. The most common microscopic lesions observed were necrosis of the pancreas, mild encephalitis, mild myocarditis, liver parenchymal hemorrhages, lymphocytic hepatitis, parabronchi lumen hemorrhages and interstitial pneumonia. High viral titers were shed from the oropharyngeal route and virus was still detected in one bird at 25 days after infection. In cloaca, the virus was detected sporadically in lower titers. The virus was transmitted to direct contact gulls. Thus, infected gulls can pose a significant risk of H5N1 HPAIV transmission to other wild migratory waterfowl and pose a risk to more susceptible poultry species. These findings have important implications regarding mode of transmission and potential risks of H5N1 HPAI spread by gulls. PMID: 26243601 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher] 


9. Glob Chang Biol. 2015 Aug 3. doi: 10.1111/gcb.13053. [Epub ahead of print] 

The interacting effects of food, spring temperature, and global climate cycles on population dynamics of a migratory songbird. 
Townsend AK(1,)(2,)(3), Cooch EG(4), Sillett TS(2), Rodenhouse NL(5), Holmes RT(6), Webster MS(3). Author information: (1)Department of Biology Department, Hamilton College, Clinton, NY, 13323, USA. (2)Migratory Bird Center, Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute, National Zoological Park, Washington, DC, 20013, USA. (3)Cornell Lab of Ornithology & Department of Neurobiology & Behavior, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY, 14853, USA. (4)Department of Natural Resources, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY, 14853, USA. (5)Department of Biological Sciences, Dartmouth College, Hanover, NH, 03755, USA. (6)Department of Biological Sciences, Wellesley College, Wellesley, MA, 12482, USA. 

Abstract
Although long-distance migratory songbirds are widely believed to be at risk from warming temperature trends, species capable of attempting more than one brood in a breeding season could benefit from extended breeding seasons in warmer springs. To evaluate local and global factors affecting population dynamics of the black-throated blue warbler (Setophaga caerulescens), a double-brooded long-distance migrant, we used Pradel models to analyze 25 years of mark-recapture data collected in New Hampshire, USA. We assessed the effects of spring temperature (local weather) and the El Niño Southern Oscillation index (a global climate cycle), as well as predator abundance, insect biomass, and local conspecific density on population growth in the subsequent year. Local and global climatic conditions affected warbler populations in different ways. We found that warbler population growth was lower following El Niño years (which have been linked to poor survival in the wintering grounds and low fledging weights in the breeding grounds) than La Niña years. At a local scale, populations increased following years with warm springs and abundant late-season food, but were unaffected by spring temperature following years when food was scarce. These results indicate that the warming temperature trends might have a positive effect on recruitment and population growth of black-throated blue warblers if food abundance is sustained in breeding areas. In contrast, potential intensification of future El Niño events could negatively impact vital rates and populations of this species. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved. PMID: 26242236 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher] 


10. Nat Neurosci. 2015 Aug 3. doi: 10.1038/nn.4078. [Epub ahead of print] 

Naturalistic stimulation drives opposing heterosynaptic plasticity at two inputs to songbird cortex. 
Mehaffey WH(1), Doupe AJ(1). Author information: (1)1] Center for Integrative Neuroscience, University of California, San Francisco, San Francisco, California, USA. [2] Department of Psychiatry, University of California, San Francisco, San Francisco, California, USA. [3] Department of Physiology, University of California, San Francisco, San Francisco, California, USA. 

Abstract
Songbirds learn precisely sequenced motor skills (songs) subserved by distinct brain areas, including the premotor cortical analog HVC, which is essential for producing learned song, and a 'cortical'-basal ganglia loop required for song plasticity. Inputs from these nuclei converge in RA (robust nucleus of the arcopallium), making it a likely locus for song learning. However, activity-dependent synaptic plasticity has never been described in either input. Using a slice preparation, we found that stimulation patterns based on singing-related activity were able to drive opposing changes in the strength of RA's inputs: when one input was potentiated, the other was depressed, with the direction and magnitude of changes depending on the relative timing of stimulation of the inputs. Moreover, pharmacological manipulations that blocked synaptic plasticity in vitro also prevented reinforcement-driven changes to song in vivo. Together, these findings highlight the importance of precise timing in the basal ganglia-motor cortical interactions subserving adaptive motor skills. PMID: 26237364 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher] 


11. Ecology. 2015 Mar;96(3):808-18. 

Comparing seed dispersal effectiveness by frugivores at the community level. 
González-Castro A, Calviño-Cancela M, Nogales M. 

Abstract
Seed dispersal effectiveness (SDE) is the contribution of dispersers to plant recruitment and is estimated as the product of the number of seeds dispersed (quantity) and the probability of recruitment of each dispersed seed (quality). Although SDE is a key concept in seed dispersal ecology, few studies estimate SDE and none has a community approach. Oceanic islands, with simple communities, are ideal for this purpose. In this study, we compared the SDE of the main types of dispersers (lizards and passerine birds) at the community level in a given habitat. We estimated SDE using a stochastic simulation model parameterized with empirical data on quantity and quality components measured throughout the recruitment process. Although lizards are highly frugivorous and their density was approximately 20 times higher than that of birds, lizards and birds dispersed a similar quantity of seeds. This may be due to lower intake of seeds by lizards due to their slower metabolism (approximately 20 times lower than birds). This low metabolic rate limits the importance of lizards as seed dispersers, but it is compensated by extraordinarily high lizard densities in the study area (approximately 9600 individuals/km2). High densities of lizards are typical of islands, and this helps to explain why dispersal by lizards seems mainly an island phenomenon. Birds and lizards showed functional complementarity, especially regarding seed dispersal distribution patterns. In fact, lizards dispersed more seeds in shrublands and open sites, and birds in woodlands and beneath canopies, with their joint contribution helping to maximize recruitment. Lizards provided higher SDE than birds for 7 out of 11 plant species. The disperser with a higher quantity for a given plant generally had the higher quality, and plants could be classified as bird- or lizard-dependent for dispersal. This dependence increased when considering SDE instead of dispersal quantity only. Moreover, quality was a better predictor of SDE than quantity, which should be considered when parameterizing interaction networks, as this might affect inferences about their architecture. PMID: 26236876 [PubMed - in process] 


12. Ecology. 2015 May;96(5):1253-63. 

An empirical investigation of why species-area relationships overestimate species losses. 
De Camargo RX, Currie DJ. 

Abstract
It is generally assumed that, when natural habitat is converted to human-dominated land cover, such habitat is lost to its native species. Most literature assumes that species richness should vary as a function of remaining natural area, following the well-known species-area relationship (i.e., classic SAR). However, classic SARs have consistently overestimated species losses resulting from conversion of natural forested land cover to human-dominated landscapes. Moreover, richness is sometimes a peaked function of remaining natural habitat. Recent studies propose modified SAR models based on species' utilization of multiple habitat types, yet none fully explain a peaked species-area relationship. Here, we evaluate the responses of total avian richness, forest bird richness, and open-habitat bird richness to remaining natural land cover within 991 quadrats, each 100 km2, across southern Ontario, Canada. Total bird species richness peaks at roughly 50% natural land cover. Richness of forest birds varies as a classic power function of forested area. In contrast, richness of birds that prefer open habitats does not increase monotonically with either natural- or human-dominated land cover. Richness of open-habitat species can be predicted when we partition human-dominated land cover into an "available human-dominated" component and "lost" habitat. Disiinguishing three land-cover types (natural, available human-dominated, and lost) can thus permit accurate predictions of species richness in landscapes with differing levels of natural habitat conversion. PMID: 26236839 [PubMed - in process] 


13. J R Soc Interface. 2015 Jul 6;12(108):20150319. 

Emergence of collective changes in travel direction of starling flocks from individual birds' fluctuations. 
Attanasi A, Cavagna A, Del Castello L, Giardina I, Jelic A, Melillo S, Parisi L, Pohl O, Shen E, Viale M. 

Abstract
One of the most impressive features of moving animal groups is their ability to perform sudden coherent changes in travel direction. While this collective decision can be a response to an external alarm cue, directional switching can also emerge from the intrinsic fluctuations in individual behaviour. However, the cause and the mechanism by which such collective changes of direction occur are not fully understood yet. Here, we present an experimental study of spontaneous collective turns in natural flocks of starlings. We employ a recently developed tracking algorithm to reconstruct three-dimensional trajectories of each individual bird in the flock for the whole duration of a turning event. Our approach enables us to analyse changes in the individual behaviour of every group member and reveal the emergent dynamics of turning. We show that spontaneous turns start from individuals located at the elongated tips of the flocks, and then propagate through the group. We find that birds on the tips deviate from the mean direction of motion much more frequently than other individuals, indicating that persistent localized fluctuations are the crucial ingredient for triggering a collective directional change. Finally, we quantitatively verify that birds follow equal-radius paths during turning, the effects of which are a change of the flock's orientation and a redistribution of individual locations in the group. PMID: 26236825 [PubMed - in process] 


14. Front Neuroanat. 2015 Jul 14;9:90. doi: 10.3389/fnana.2015.00090. eCollection 2015. 

Distribution of vasotocin- and vasoactive intestinal peptide-like immunoreactivity in the brain of blue tit (Cyanistes coeruleus). 
Montagnese CM(1), Székely T(2), Csillag A(1), Zachar G(1). Author information: (1)Department of Anatomy, Histology and Embryology, Semmelweis University Budapest, Hungary. (2)Department of Biology and Biochemistry, University of Bath Bath, UK. 

Abstract
Blue tits (Cyanistes coeruleus) are songbirds, used as model animals in numerous studies covering a wide field of research. Nevertheless, the distribution of neuropeptides in the brain of this avian species remains largely unknown. Here we present some of the first results on distribution of Vasotocine (AVT) and Vasoactive intestinal peptide (VIP) in the brain of males and females of this songbird species, using immunohistochemistry mapping. The bulk of AVT-like cells are found in the hypothalamic supraoptic, paraventricular and suprachiasmatic nuclei, bed nucleus of the stria terminalis, and along the lateral forebrain bundle. Most AVT-like fibers course toward the median eminence, some reaching the arcopallium, and lateral septum. Further terminal fields occur in the dorsal thalamus, ventral tegmental area and pretectal area. Most VIP-like cells are in the lateral septal organ and arcuate nucleus. VIP-like fibers are distributed extensively in the hypothalamus, preoptic area, lateral septum, diagonal band of Broca. They are also found in the bed nucleus of the stria terminalis, amygdaloid nucleus of taenia, robust nucleus of the arcopallium, caudo-ventral hyperpallium, nucleus accumbens and the brainstem. Taken together, these results suggest that both AVT and VIP immunoreactive structures show similar distribution to other avian species, emphasizing evolutionary conservatism in the history of vertebrates. The current study may enable future investigation into the localization of AVT and VIP, in relation to behavioral and ecological traits in the brain of tit species. PMCID: PMC4500960 PMID: 26236200 [PubMed] 


15. Acta Trop. 2015 Jul 29. pii: S0001-706X(15)30073-5. doi: 10.1016/j.actatropica.2015.07.025. [Epub ahead of print] 

Little Known Chewing lice (Phthiraptera) Infesting Crab Plover Dromas ardeola Paykull, 1805 (Charadriiformes: Dromadidae) From The Red Sea. 
Alahmed A(1), Shobrak M(2), Kheir S(1), Nasser M(3). Author information: (1)Research Chair of Insect Vector Borne Diseases, Department of Plant Protection, College of Food and Agriculture Science, King Saud University, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. (2)Departments of Biology, Science College, Ta'if University, Ta'if, Saudi Arabia. (3)Research Chair of Insect Vector Borne Diseases, Department of Plant Protection, College of Food and Agriculture Science, King Saud University, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. Electronic address: mgnasser@ksu.edu.sa. 

Abstract
Scanty information is available for many species of chewing lice of marine birds. Through this work we investigated one of most characteristic marine bird for chewing lice. Seven individuals of crab plovers Dromas ardeola Paykull, 1805 were trapped using standard mist nets on Humr Island in Farasan Archipelago, Saudi Arabia. Two species of chewing lice were found to infest these birds: Actornithophilus ardeolae Timmermann, 1954 of suborder Amblycera and Quadraceps brunneus (Nitzsch in Giebel, 1866) of suborder Ischnocera. Diagnostic characters, data of specimens examined, high definition photos and host distribution map are provided through this paper. Copyright © 2015. Published by Elsevier B.V. PMID: 26232655 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher] 


16. Horm Behav. 2015 Jul 29. pii: S0018-506X(15)30033-7. doi: 10.1016/j.yhbeh.2015.07.022. [Epub ahead of print] 

Sex, estradiol, and spatial memory in a food-caching corvid. 
Rensel MA(1), Ellis JM(2), Harvey B(2), Schlinger BA(3). Author information: (1)Department of Integrative Biology and Physiology, The University of California, Los Angeles; 610 Charles E Young Drive East, Los Angeles, CA, USA, 90095. Electronic address: mrensel@ucla.edu. (2)Department of Integrative Biology and Physiology, The University of California, Los Angeles; 610 Charles E Young Drive East, Los Angeles, CA, USA, 90095. (3)Department of Integrative Biology and Physiology, The University of California, Los Angeles; 610 Charles E Young Drive East, Los Angeles, CA, USA, 90095; Laboratory of Neuroendocrinology, Brain Research Institute, The University of California, Los Angeles; 610 Charles E Young Drive East, Los Angeles, CA, USA, 90095; Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, The University of California, Los Angeles; 610 Charles E Young Drive East, Los Angeles, CA, USA, 90095. 

Abstract
Estrogens significantly impact spatial memory function in mammalian species. Songbirds express the estrogen synthetic enzyme aromatase at relatively high levels in the hippocampus and there is evidence from zebra finches that estrogens facilitate performance on spatial learning and/or memory tasks. It is unknown, however, whether estrogens influence hippocampal function in songbirds that naturally exhibit memory-intensive behaviors, such as cache recovery observed in many corvid species. To address this question, we examined the impact of estradiol on spatial memory in non-breeding Western scrub-jays, a species that routinely participates in food caching and retrieval in nature and in captivity. We also asked if there were sex differences in performance or responses to estradiol. Utilizing a combination of an aromatase inhibitor, fadrozole, with estradiol implants, we found that while overall cache recovery rates were unaffected by estradiol, several other indices of spatial memory, including searching efficiency and efficiency to retrieve the first item, were impaired in the presence of estradiol. In addition, males and females differed in some performance measures, although these differences appeared to be a consequence of the nature of the task as neither sex consistently out-performed the other. Overall, our data suggest that a sustained estradiol elevation in a food-caching bird impairs some, but not all, aspects of spatial memory on an innate behavioral task, at times in a sex-specific manner. Copyright © 2015. Published by Elsevier Inc. PMID: 26232613 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher] 


17. J Exp Biol. 2015 Jul 31. pii: jeb.122150. [Epub ahead of print] 

Body temperature changes during simulated bacterial infection in a songbird: fever at night and hypothermia at day. 
Sköld-Chiriac S(1), Nord A(2), Tobler M(1), Nilsson JÅ(1), Hasselquist D(1). Author information: (1)Department of Biology, Lund University, Ecology Building, SE-223 62, Lund, Sweden. (2)Department of Biology, Lund University, Ecology Building, SE-223 62, Lund, Sweden Andreas.Nord@biol.lu.se. 

Abstract
Although fever (a closely regulated increase in body temperature in response to infection) typically is beneficial, it is energetically costly and may induce detrimentally high body temperatures. This can increase the susceptibility to energetic bottlenecks and risks of overheating in some organisms. Accordingly, it could be particularly interesting to study fever in small birds, which have comparatively high metabolic rates and high, variable body temperatures. We therefore investigated two aspects of fever and other sickness behaviours (circadian variation, dose-dependence) in a small songbird, the zebra finch. We injected lipopolysaccharide (LPS) at the beginning of the day and night, respectively, and subsequently monitored body temperature, body mass change and food intake for the duration of the response. We found pronounced circadian variation in body temperature response to LPS-injection, manifested by (dose-dependent) hypothermia at day but fever at night. This resulted in body temperature during the peak response being relatively similar at day and at night. Day-to-night differences might be explained in the context of circadian variation in body temperature: songbirds have a high daytime body temperature that is augmented by substantial heat production peaks during activity. This might require a trade-off between the benefit of fever and the risk of overheating. In contrast, at night when body temperature is typically lower and less variable, fever can be used to mitigate infection. We suggest that the change in body temperature during infection in small songbirds is context-dependent and regulated to promote survival according to individual demands at the time of infection. © 2015. Published by The Company of Biologists Ltd. PMID: 26232416 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]


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