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Wednesday, 30 December 2015

What's new for 'birdRS' in PubMed, Christmas 2015

birdRS - Latest News

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. Chemosphere. 2015 Dec 15. pii: S0045-6535(15)30443-4. doi: 10.1016/j.chemosphere.2015.11.112. [Epub ahead of print] 

A novel pollution pattern: Highly chlorinated biphenyls retained in Black-crowned night heron (Nycticorax nycticorax) and Whiskered tern (Chlidonias hybrida) from the Yangtze River Delta. 
Zhou Y(1), Yin G(2), Asplund L(3), Qiu Y(4), Bignert A(5), Zhu Z(6), Zhao J(6), Bergman Å(7). Author information: (1)State Key Laboratory of Pollution Control and Resource Reuse, College of Environmental Science and Engineering, Tongji University, Shanghai 200092, China; Analytical and Toxicology Chemistry Unit, Department of Environmental Science and Analytical Chemistry, Stockholm University, SE-10691 Stockholm, Sweden. (2)Analytical and Toxicology Chemistry Unit, Department of Environmental Science and Analytical Chemistry, Stockholm University, SE-10691 Stockholm, Sweden. Electronic address: ge.yin@aces.su.se. (3)Analytical and Toxicology Chemistry Unit, Department of Environmental Science and Analytical Chemistry, Stockholm University, SE-10691 Stockholm, Sweden. (4)Key Laboratory of Yangtze River Water Environment (Ministry of Education), College of Environmental Science and Engineering, Tongji University, Shanghai 200092, China. (5)State Key Laboratory of Pollution Control and Resource Reuse, College of Environmental Science and Engineering, Tongji University, Shanghai 200092, China; Swedish Museum of Natural History, Box 50007, SE-10405 Stockholm, Sweden. (6)State Key Laboratory of Pollution Control and Resource Reuse, College of Environmental Science and Engineering, Tongji University, Shanghai 200092, China. (7)State Key Laboratory of Pollution Control and Resource Reuse, College of Environmental Science and Engineering, Tongji University, Shanghai 200092, China; Analytical and Toxicology Chemistry Unit, Department of Environmental Science and Analytical Chemistry, Stockholm University, SE-10691 Stockholm, Sweden; Swedish Toxicology Sciences Research Center, Forskargatan 20, SE-15136 Södertälje, Sweden. 

Abstract
Contamination of organochlorine pesticides (OCPs), polychlorinated diphenyls (PCBs), polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs), hydroxylated polybrominated diphenyl ethers (OH-PBDEs) and their methylated counterparts (MeO-PBDEs) were determined in Black-crowned night heron (Nycticorax nycticorax) and Whiskered tern (Chlidonias hybrida) from two drinking water sources, e.g. Tianmu lake and East Tai lake in Yangtze River Delta, China. A novel PCBs contamination pattern was detected, including 11% and 6.9% highly chlorinated biphenyls (PCBs with eight to ten chlorines) in relation to total PCB concentrations in the Black-crowned night heron and Whiskered tern eggs, respectively. The predominating OCPs detected in the present study were 4,4'-DDE, with concentration range 280-650 ng g(-1) lw in Black-crowned night heron and 240-480 ng g(-1) lw in Whiskered tern, followed by β-HCH and Mirex. 6-MeO-BDE-90 and 6-MeO-BDE-99 are the two predominant congeners of MeO-PBDEs whereas 6-OH-BDE-47 contributes mostly to the OH-PBDEs in both species. Contamination level was considered as median or low level compared global data. Copyright © 2015 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Ltd.. All rights reserved. PMID: 26705146 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher] 


2. PLoS One. 2015 Dec 23;10(12):e0144445. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0144445. 

Avitourism and Australian Important Bird and Biodiversity Areas. 
Steven R(1), Morrison C(2), Arthur JM(3), Castley JG(1). Author information: (1)Environmental Futures Research Institute, Griffith School of Environment, Gold Coast campus, Griffith University, Gold Coast, Queensland, 4222, Australia. (2)Griffith School of Environment, Gold Coast campus, Griffith University, Gold Coast, Queensland, 4222, Australia. (3)Australian Rivers Institute, Griffith School of Environment, Griffith University, Gold Coast, Queensland, Australia. 

Abstract
Formal protected areas will not provide adequate protection to conserve all biodiversity, and are not always designated using systematic or strategic criteria. Using a systematic process, the Important Bird and Biodiversity Area (IBA) network was designed to highlight areas of conservation significance for birds (i.e. IBA trigger species), and more recently general biodiversity. Land use activities that take place in IBAs are diverse, including consumptive and non-consumptive activities. Avitourism in Australia, generally a non-consumptive activity, is reliant on the IBA network and the birds IBAs aim to protect. However, companies tend not to mention IBAs in their marketing. Furthermore, avitourism, like other nature-based tourism has the potential to be both a threatening process as well as a conservation tool. We aimed to assess the current use of IBAs among Australian-based avitour companies' marketing, giving some indication of which IBAs are visited by avitourists on organised tours. We reviewed online avitour itineraries, recorded sites featuring in descriptions of avitours and which IBA trigger species are used to sell those tours. Of the 209 avitours reviewed, Queensland is the most featured state (n = 59 tours), and 73% feature at least one IBA. Daintree (n = 22) and Bruny Island (n = 17) IBAs are the most popular, nationally. Trigger species represent 34% (n = 254 out of 747) of species used in avitour descriptions. The most popular trigger species' are wetland species including; Brolga (n = 37), Black-necked Stork (n = 30) and Magpie Goose (n = 27). Opportunities exist to increase collaboration between avitour companies and IBA stakeholders. Our results can provide guidance for managing sustainability of the avitourism industry at sites that feature heavily in avitour descriptions and enhance potential cooperation between avitour companies, IBA stakeholders and bird conservation organisations. PMID: 26701779 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher] 


3. Biol Lett. 2015 Dec;11(12). pii: 20150777. Epub 2015 Dec 23. 

Activity profiles and hook-tool use of New Caledonian crows recorded by bird-borne video cameras. 
Troscianko J(1), Rutz C(2). Author information: (1)School of Biosciences, University of Birmingham, Birmingham B15 2TT, UK. (2)Department of Zoology, University of Oxford, Oxford OX1 3PS, UK christian.rutz@st-andrews.ac.uk. 

Abstract
New Caledonian crows are renowned for their unusually sophisticated tool behaviour. Despite decades of fieldwork, however, very little is known about how they make and use their foraging tools in the wild, which is largely owing to the difficulties in observing these shy forest birds. To obtain first estimates of activity budgets, as well as close-up observations of tool-assisted foraging, we equipped 19 wild crows with self-developed miniature video cameras, yielding more than 10 h of analysable video footage for 10 subjects. While only four crows used tools during recording sessions, they did so extensively: across all 10 birds, we conservatively estimate that tool-related behaviour occurred in 3% of total observation time, and accounted for 19% of all foraging behaviour. Our video-loggers provided first footage of crows manufacturing, and using, one of their most complex tool types-hooked stick tools-under completely natural foraging conditions. We recorded manufacture from live branches of paperbark (Melaleuca sp.) and another tree species (thought to be Acacia spirorbis), and deployment of tools in a range of contexts, including on the forest floor. Taken together, our video recordings reveal an 'expanded' foraging niche for hooked stick tools, and highlight more generally how crows routinely switch between tool- and bill-assisted foraging. © 2015 The Authors. PMID: 26701755 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher] 


4. PLoS One. 2015 Dec 23;10(12):e0144089. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0144089. 

Implications of Climate Change for Bird Conservation in the Southwestern U.S. under Three Alternative Futures. 
Friggens MM(1), Finch DM(1). Author information: (1)United States Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station, Albuquerque, New Mexico, United States of America. 

Abstract
Future expected changes in climate and human activity threaten many riparian habitats, particularly in the southwestern U.S. Using Maximum Entropy (MaxEnt3.3.3) modeling, we characterized habitat relationships and generated spatial predictions of habitat suitability for the Lucy's warbler (Oreothlypis luciae), the Southwestern willow flycatcher (Empidonax traillii extimus) and the Western yellow-billed cuckoo (Coccyzus americanus). Our goal was to provide site- and species-specific information that can be used by managers to identify areas for habitat conservation and/or restoration along the Rio Grande in New Mexico. We created models of suitable habitat for each species based on collection and survey samples and climate, biophysical, and vegetation data. We projected habitat suitability under future climates by applying these models to conditions generated from three climate models for 2030, 2060 and 2090. By comparing current and future distributions, we identified how habitats are likely to change as a result of changing climate and the consequences of those changes for these bird species. We also examined whether land ownership of high value sites shifts under changing climate conditions. Habitat suitability models performed well. Biophysical characteristics were more important that climate conditions for predicting habitat suitability with distance to water being the single most important predictor. Climate, though less important, was still influential and led to declines of suitable habitat of more than 60% by 2090. For all species, suitable habitat tended to shrink over time within the study area leaving a few core areas of high importance. Overall, climate changes will increase habitat fragmentation and reduce breeding habitat patch size. The best strategy for conserving bird species within the Rio Grande will include measures to maintain and restore critical habitat refugia. This study provides an example of a presence-only habitat model that can be used to inform the management of species at intermediate scales. PMID: 26700871 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher] 


5. Biodivers Data J. 2015 Nov 20;(3):e6604. doi: 10.3897/BDJ.3.e6604. eCollection 2015. 

Birds from the Azores: An updated list with some comments on species distribution. 
Barcelos LM(1), Rodrigues PR(2), Bried J(3), Mendonça EP(1), Gabriel R(1), Borges PA(1). Author information: (1)CE3C - Centre for Ecology, Evolution and Environmental Changes / Azorean Biodiversity Group and Universidade dos Açores, Azores, Portugal. (2)Universidade dos Açores, Ponta Delgada, Portugal. (3)na, Biarritz, France. 

Abstract
BACKGROUND: An updated checklist of the Birds of the Azores is presented based on information compiled from Rodrigues et al. (2010) and from the websites, Azores Bird Club. (2014), Aves dos Açores (2014) Azores Bird Sightings (2014) and Vittery (2014), since 2010. NEW INFORMATION: The checklist has a total of 414 species, including 38 new species. Almost half of the species and subspecies that occur in the Azores have a Palearctic origin, the remaining ones being essentialy Nearctic and Holarctic species. São Miguel is the island with the highest number of bird species, followed by Terceira, Corvo and Flores islands. PMCID: PMC4678808 PMID: 26696765 [PubMed] 


6. Glob Chang Biol. 2015 Dec 22. doi: 10.1111/gcb.13154. [Epub ahead of print] 

The pace of past climate change vs. potential bird distributions and land use in the United States.
Bateman BL(1), Pidgeon AM(1), Radeloff VC(1), VanDerWal J(2,)(3), Thogmartin WE(4), Vavrus SJ(5), Heglund PJ(6). Author information: (1)SILVIS Lab, Department of Forest and Wildlife Ecology, University of Wisconsin-Madison, Madison, WI, 53706, USA. (2)Centre for Tropical Biodiversity and Climate Change Research, School of Marine and Tropical Biology, James Cook University, Townsville, Qld, 4811, Australia. (3)Division of Research and Innovation, James Cook University, Townsville, Qld, 4811, Australia. (4)U.S. Geological Survey, Upper Midwest Environmental Sciences Center, La Crosse, WI, 54603, USA. (5)Center for Climate Research, University of Wisconsin-Madison, Madison, WI, 53706, USA. (6)U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, La Crosse, WI, 54603, USA. 

Abstract
Climate change may drastically alter patterns of species distributions and richness, but predicting future species patterns in occurrence is challenging. Significant shifts in distributions have already been observed, and understanding these recent changes can improve our understanding of potential future changes. We assessed how past climate change affected potential breeding distributions for landbird species in the conterminous United States. We quantified the bioclimatic velocity of potential breeding distributions, that is, the pace and direction of change for each species' suitable climate space over the past 60 years. We found that potential breeding distributions for landbirds have shifted substantially with an average velocity of 1.27 km yr(-1) , about double the pace of prior distribution shift estimates across terrestrial systems globally (0.61 km yr(-1) ). The direction of shifts was not uniform. The majority of species' distributions shifted west, northwest, and north. Multidirectional shifts suggest that changes in climate conditions beyond mean temperature were influencing distributional changes. Indeed, precipitation variables that were proxies for extreme conditions were important variables across all models. There were winners and losers in terms of the area of distributions; many species experienced contractions along west and east distribution edges, and expansions along northern distribution edges. Changes were also reflected in the potential species richness, with some regions potentially gaining species (Midwest, East) and other areas potentially losing species (Southwest). However, the degree to which changes in potential breeding distributions are manifested in actual species richness depends on landcover. Areas that have become increasingly suitable for breeding birds due to changing climate are often those attractive to humans for agriculture and development. This suggests that many areas might have supported more breeding bird species had the landscape not been altered. Our study illustrates that climate change is not only a future threat, but something birds are already experiencing. © 2015 John Wiley & Sons Ltd. PMID: 26691721 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher] 


7. Glob Chang Biol. 2015 Dec 22. doi: 10.1111/gcb.13150. [Epub ahead of print] 

North by north-west: climate change and directions of density shifts in birds. 
Lehikoinen A(1), Virkkala R(2). Author information: (1)The Helsinki Lab of Ornithology, Finnish Museum of Natural History, University of Helsinki, P. O. Box 17, FI-00014, Helsinki, Finland. (2)Natural Environment Centre, Finnish Environment Institute, Mechelininkatu 34 a, P.O. Box 140, FI-00251, Helsinki, Finland. 

Abstract
There is increasing evidence that climate change shifts species distributions towards poles and mountain tops. However, most studies are based on presence-absence data, and either abundance or the observation effort has rarely been measured. In addition, hardly any studies have investigated the direction of shifts and factors affecting them. Here, we show using count data on a 1000 km south-north gradient in Finland, that between 1970-1989 and 2000-2012, 128 bird species shifted their densities, on average, 37 km towards the north north-east. The species-specific directions of the shifts in density were significantly explained by migration behaviour and habitat type. Although the temperatures have also moved on average towards the north north-east (186 km), the species-specific directions of the shifts in density and temperature did not correlate due to high variation in density shifts. Findings highlight that climate change is unlikely the only driver of the direction of species density shifts, but species-specific characteristics and human land-use practices are also influencing the direction. Furthermore, the alarming results show that former climatic conditions in the north-west corner of Finland have already moved out of the country. This highlights the need for an international approach in research and conservation actions to mitigate the impacts of climate change. © 2015 John Wiley & Sons Ltd. PMID: 26691578 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher] 


8. Protoplasma. 2015 Dec 21. [Epub ahead of print] 

Development of mechanical papillae of the tongue in the domestic goose (Anser anser f. domestica) during the embryonic period. 
Skieresz-Szewczyk K(1), Jackowiak H(2). Author information: (1)Department of Histology and Embryology, Poznań University of Life Sciences, Wojska Polskiego 71 C, 60-625, Poznań, Poland. skieresz@up.poznan.pl. (2)Department of Histology and Embryology, Poznań University of Life Sciences, Wojska Polskiego 71 C, 60-625, Poznań, Poland. 

Abstract
Three types of mechanical papillae, i.e., conical, filiform, and hair-like papillae, are present on the tongue in the domestic goose. Within conical papillae, we distinguish three categories: large and small conical papillae on the body and conical papillae on the lingual prominence. The arrangement of mechanical papillae on the tongue in Anseriformes is connected functionally with different feeding mechanisms such as grazing and filter-feeding. The present work aims to determine whether morphology of three types of mechanical papillae in goose at the time of hatching is the same as in an adult bird and if the tongue is prepared to fulfill feeding function. Our results revealed that the primordia of the large conical papillae start to develop during the differentiation stage. The primordia of the small conical papillae and conical papillae of the lingual papillae start to develop during the growth stage. At the end of the growth stage, only large conical papillae, three pairs of small conical papillae, and conical papillae of the lingual prominence have similar arrangement as in an adult bird. The shape and arrangement of the remaining small conical papillae probably will be changed after hatching. During embryonic period, the filiform papillae and hair-like papillae are not formed. The embryonic epithelium that covered the mechanical papillae undergoes transformation leading to the formation of multilayered epithelium. During prehatching stage, epithelium becomes orthokeratinized epithelium. In conclusion, the tongue of the domestic goose after hatching is well prepared only for grazing. The filtration of food from water is limited due to the lack of filiform papillae. PMID: 26689409 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher] 


9. Bull Math Biol. 2015 Dec 18. [Epub ahead of print] 

Impact of Spring Bird Migration on the Range Expansion of Ixodes scapularis Tick Population. 
Wu X(1), Röst G(2), Zou X(3). Author information: (1)Department of Mathematics, Shanghai Maritime University, Shanghai, 201306, China. xtwu@shmtu.edu.cn. (2)Bolyai Institute, University of Szeged, Szeged, H6720, Hungary. rost@math.u-szeged.hu. (3)Department of Applied Mathematics, Western University, London, ON, N6A 5B7, Canada. xzou@uwo.ca. 

Abstract
Many observational studies suggest that seasonal migratory birds play an important role in spreading Ixodes scapularis, a vector of Lyme disease, along their migratory flyways, and they are believed to be responsible for geographic range expansion of I. scapularis in Canada. However, the interplay between the dynamics of I. scapularis on land and migratory birds in the air is not well understood. In this study, we develop a periodic delay meta-population model which takes into consideration the local landscape for tick reproduction within patches and the times needed for ticks to be transported by birds between patches. Assuming that the tick population is endemic in the source region, we find that bird migration may boost an already established tick population at the subsequent region and thus increase the risk to humans, or bird migration may help ticks to establish in a region where the local landscape is not appropriate for ticks to survive in the absence of bird migration, imposing risks to public health. This theoretical study reveals that bird migration plays an important role in the geographic range expansion of I. scapularis, and therefore our findings may suggest some strategies for Lyme disease prevention and control. PMID: 26688012 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher] 


10. Microb Ecol. 2015 Dec 21. [Epub ahead of print] 

Wild Birds, Frequent Carriers of Extended-Spectrum β-Lactamase (ESBL) Producing Escherichia coli of CTX-M and SHV-12 Types. 
Alcalá L(1), Alonso CA(2), Simón C(1), González-Esteban C(3), Orós J(1), Rezusta A(4), Ortega C(1), Torres C(5). Author information: (1)Facultad de Veterinaria, Universidad de Zaragoza, Zaragoza, Spain. (2)Área de Bioquímica y Biología Molecular, Universidad de La Rioja, Madre de Dios 51, 26006, Logroño, Spain. (3)Centro de Recuperación de Fauna Silvestre de La Alfranca, Departamento de Agricultura, Ganadería y Medio Ambiente, Gobierno de Aragón, Spain. (4)Servicio de Microbiología, Hospital Universitario Miguel Servet, Zaragoza, Universidad de Zaragoza, IIS Aragón, Spain. (5)Área de Bioquímica y Biología Molecular, Universidad de La Rioja, Madre de Dios 51, 26006, Logroño, Spain. carmen.torres@unirioja.es. 

Abstract
To get a better insight into the role of birds as reservoirs of extended-spectrum β-lactamase (ESBL) and plasmidic AmpC β-lactamase (pAmpC) Escherichia coli producers, 100 fecal samples belonging to 15 different wild avian species from Northern Spain were analyzed. Cefotaxime-resistant (CTX(R)) E. coli isolates were identified in 16 of the 100 tested birds, which corresponded to 9 animal species (Gyps fulvus-griffon vulture, Larus michahellis-yellow-legged gull, Milvus migrans-black kite, Milvus milvus-red kite, Ciconia ciconia-white stork, Sturnus unicolor-spotless starling, Aquila chrysaetos-golden eagle, Cuculus canorus-common cuckoo, Tyto alba-barn owl). Fifteen isolates harbored ESBL or pAmpC-encoding genes (number of isolates): bla SHV-12 (9), bla CTX-M-1 (3), bla CTX-M-14 (2), and bla CMY-2 (1). The last CTX(R) isolate presented a -42-point-mutation in the chromosomal ampC promoter. Eleven out of 15 ESBL/pAmpC E. coli isolates were multiresistant (most common resistance phenotype: β-lactams-quinolones-tetracycline-sulfamethoxazole/trimethoprim). A plasmid-mediated quinolone resistance determinant (qnrS1) was identified in one E. coli from a barn owl. High genetic diversity was observed among ESBL/pAmpC E. coli isolates, with 12 different sequence types (STs), including several strains of STs frequently detected among human clinical isolates (ST38/D, ST131/B2, ST155/B1, ST10/A). The ST131 isolate belonged to the emergent ciprofloxacin-resistant H30R subclone. This study reveals a high percentage of bird as carriers of ESBL/pAmpC E. coli isolates in Spain, highlighting the elevated rate among storks, kites, and vultures. Wild birds can contribute to the global spread of ESBL/pAmpC-producing E. coli in natural ecosystems. PMID: 26687342 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher] 


11. Sci Rep. 2015 Dec 21;5:18317. doi: 10.1038/srep18317. 

Spatially modulated structural colour in bird feathers. 
Parnell AJ(1), Washington AL(1,)(2), Mykhaylyk OO(3), Hill CJ(4), Bianco A(2), Burg SL(1), Dennison AJ(5,)(6), Snape M(1), Cadby AJ(1), Smith A(7), Prevost S(8), Whittaker DM(1), Jones RA(1), Fairclough JP(2), Parker AR(9). Author information: (1)Department of Physics and Astronomy, The University of Sheffield, S3 7RH, UK. (2)Department of Mechanical Engineering, The University of Sheffield, S3 7HQ, UK. (3)Department of Chemistry, The University of Sheffield, S3 7HF, UK. (4)Department of Molecular Biology and Biotechnology, The University of Sheffield, S10 2TN. (5)University Grenoble-Alpes, IBS, 38044, France. (6)Institut Laue-Langevin, 38042 Grenoble Cedex 9, France. (7)Beamline I22 Diamond Light Source, Oxfordshire, UK. (8)ID02 Beamline, European Synchrotron Radiation Facility (ESRF), F38043, Grenoble, France. (9)Department of Zoology, Natural History Museum, London SW7 5BD, UK. 

Abstract
Eurasian Jay (Garrulus glandarius) feathers display periodic variations in the reflected colour from white through light blue, dark blue and black. We find the structures responsible for the colour are continuous in their size and spatially controlled by the degree of spinodal phase separation in the corresponding region of the feather barb. Blue structures have a well-defined broadband ultra-violet (UV) to blue wavelength distribution; the corresponding nanostructure has characteristic spinodal morphology with a lengthscale of order 150 nm. White regions have a larger 200 nm nanostructure, consistent with a spinodal process that has coarsened further, yielding broader wavelength white reflectance. Our analysis shows that nanostructure in single bird feather barbs can be varied continuously by controlling the time the keratin network is allowed to phase separate before mobility in the system is arrested. Dynamic scaling analysis of the single barb scattering data implies that the phase separation arrest mechanism is rapid and also distinct from the spinodal phase separation mechanism i.e. it is not gelation or intermolecular re-association. Any growing lengthscale using this spinodal phase separation approach must first traverse the UV and blue wavelength regions, growing the structure by coarsening, resulting in a broad distribution of domain sizes. PMID: 26686280 [PubMed - in process] 


12. J Exp Biol. 2015 Dec 18. pii: jeb.126532. [Epub ahead of print] 

Lingual articulation in songbirds. 
Suthers RA(1), Rothgerber JR(2), Jensen KK(3). Author information: (1)School of Medicine, Jordan Hall, Indiana University, 1001 East Third Street, Bloomington, IN 47405, USA suthers@indiana.edu. (2)School of Medicine, Jordan Hall, Indiana University, 1001 East Third Street, Bloomington, IN 47405, USA. (3)Starkey Hearing Technologies, 6600 Washington Avenue S., Eden Prairie, MN 55344, USA. 

Abstract
Lingual articulation in humans is one of the primary means of vocal tract resonance filtering that produces the characteristic vowel formants of speech. In songbirds, the function of the tongue in song has not been thoroughly examined, although recent research has identified the oropharyngeal-esophageal cavity as a resonance filter that is actively tuned to the frequency of the song. In northern cardinals (Cardinalis cardinalis), the volume of this cavity is inversely proportional to the frequency of the song above 2 kHz. However, cardinal song extends below this range, leaving the question of if and how the vocal tract is tracking these low frequencies. We investigated the possible role of the tongue in vocal tract filtering using X-ray cineradiography of northern cardinals. Below 2 kHz, there was prominent tongue elevation in which the tip of the tongue was raised until it seemed to touch the palate. These results suggest that tongue elevation lowers the resonance frequency below 2 kHz by reducing the area of the passage from the oral cavity into the beak. This is consistent with a computational model of the songbird vocal tract in which resonance frequencies are actively adjusted by both changing the volume of the oropharyngeal-esophageal cavity and constricting the opening into the beak. © 2015. Published by The Company of Biologists Ltd. PMID: 26685174 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher] 


13. J Am Vet Med Assoc. 2016 Jan 1;248(1):67-71. doi: 10.2460/javma.248.1.67. 

Evaluation of the mydriatic effects of topical administration of rocuronium bromide in Hispaniolan Amazon parrots (Amazona ventralis). 
Petritz OA, Guzman DS, Gustavsen K, Wiggans KT, Kass PH, Houck E, Murphy CJ, Paul-Murphy J. 

Abstract
OBJECTIVE To determine the mydriatic effects of topical rocuronium bromide administration in Hispaniolan Amazon parrots (Amazona ventralis) and to identify any adverse effects associated with treatment. DESIGN Randomized crossover study. ANIMALS 8 healthy adult Hispaniolan Amazon parrots. PROCEDURES Rocuronium bromide (20 μL/eye; 10 mg/mL) or saline (20 μL/eye; 0.9% NaCl) solution was administered in both eyes of each bird with a 26-day washout period. The birds were manually restrained in lateral recumbency with the apex of the cornea positioned upward for 2 minutes following administration in each eye. Infrared pupillometry and direct pupillary light reflex measurements were used to evaluate the mydriatic effects. Pupillary measurements were recorded prior to administration and every 20 minutes for 2 hours after administration, then hourly for a total of 7 hours. A brief physical examination was performed, direct pupillary light reflex was tested, and fluorescein staining was performed on each eye of each bird 24 hours after administration. RESULTS A significant difference in pupillary diameter for the active versus control treatment group was noted from 20 to 360 minutes after drug administration, but not at 420 minutes. Minimal adverse effects were noted. Three birds had transient inferior eyelid paresis noted in both eyes after receiving rocuronium; 24 hours after the treatment, no differences in ocular measurements existed between the active and control treatments. CONCLUSIONS AND CLINICAL RELEVANCE Results suggested that topical rocuronium bromide administration may be safely used for pupillary dilation in Hispaniolan Amazon parrots and could be used for clinical evaluation, fundus imaging, and surgical interventions involving the lens and posterior segment in this species. PMID: 26684093 [PubMed - in process] 


14. PLoS One. 2015 Dec 18;10(12):e0145433. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0145433. eCollection 2015. 

Reintroduction of the European Capercaillie from the Capercaillie Breeding Centre in Wisła Forest District: Genetic Assessments of Captive and Reintroduced Populations. 
Strzała T(1), Kowalczyk A(2), Łukaszewicz E(2). Author information: (1)Department of Genetics, Faculty of Biology, Wroclaw University of Environmental and Life Sciences, Wrocław, Poland. (2)Division of Poultry Breeding, Institute of Animal Breeding, Faculty of Biology, Wroclaw University of Environmental and Life Sciences, Wrocław, Poland. 

Abstract
The Western capercaillie (Tetrao urogallus) is a specific bird species, which, despite its very broad distribution and large global population size, is highly endangered in many Western and Central European countries. According to the species situation, in many countries (including Poland), breeding and reintroduction programmes have been started. One of the most complex and large-scale reintroduction programmes was started in Bory Dolnośląskie Forest, and the Capercaillie Breeding Centre in Wisła Forest District was used as one of the sources of individuals for reintroduction. As genetic tools provide essential knowledge about species biodiversity, which is crucially important during the breeding process and reintroduction, both captive and reintroduced grouse populations were genetically analysed. We were particularly interested in genetic diversity of the individuals in both populations and the genetic relationship between them, as well as between them and other capercaillie representatives from their current range. To fulfil these goals we determined nine microsatellite loci along with a fragment of the mitochondrial control region. Genetic diversity parameters were moderate to high compared to populations from other Central and Western European countries. Both populations were clustered into three distinct genetic clades based on microsatellites. Phylogenetic analysis placed all mitochondrial haplotypes we revealed in the Eurasian clade. The present results will play an important role as they will help to preserve and maximize genetic diversity in captive populations, and will provide a basis for future monitoring of the reintroduction process. PMID: 26682897 [PubMed - in process] 


15. PLoS One. 2015 Dec 18;10(12):e0145168. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0145168. eCollection 2015. 

Vertebral Pneumaticity in the Ornithomimosaur Archaeornithomimus (Dinosauria: Theropoda) Revealed by Computed Tomography Imaging and Reappraisal of Axial Pneumaticity in Ornithomimosauria. 
Watanabe A(1,)(2), Eugenia Leone Gold M(1,)(2), Brusatte SL(3), Benson RB(4,)(5), Choiniere J(5), Davidson A(1), Norell MA(1,)(2). Author information: (1)Division of Paleontology, American Museum of Natural History, New York, New York, United States of America. (2)Richard Gilder Graduate School, American Museum of Natural History, New York, New York, United States of America. (3)School of GeoSciences, University of Edinburgh, Scotland, United Kingdom. (4)Department of Earth Sciences, University of Oxford, Oxford, United Kingdom. (5)Evolutionary Studies Institute and DST/NRF Centre of Excellence in Palaeosciences, University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, South Africa. 

Abstract
Among extant vertebrates, pneumatization of postcranial bones is unique to birds, with few known exceptions in other groups. Through reduction in bone mass, this feature is thought to benefit flight capacity in modern birds, but its prevalence in non-avian dinosaurs of variable sizes has generated competing hypotheses on the initial adaptive significance of postcranial pneumaticity. To better understand the evolutionary history of postcranial pneumaticity, studies have surveyed its distribution among non-avian dinosaurs. Nevertheless, the degree of pneumaticity in the basal coelurosaurian group Ornithomimosauria remains poorly known, despite their potential to greatly enhance our understanding of the early evolution of pneumatic bones along the lineage leading to birds. Historically, the identification of postcranial pneumaticity in non-avian dinosaurs has been based on examination of external morphology, and few studies thus far have focused on the internal architecture of pneumatic structures inside the bones. Here, we describe the vertebral pneumaticity of the ornithomimosaur Archaeornithomimus with the aid of X-ray computed tomography (CT) imaging. Complementary examination of external and internal osteology reveals (1) highly pneumatized cervical vertebrae with an elaborate configuration of interconnected chambers within the neural arch and the centrum; (2) anterior dorsal vertebrae with pneumatic chambers inside the neural arch; (3) apneumatic sacral vertebrae; and (4) a subset of proximal caudal vertebrae with limited pneumatic invasion into the neural arch. Comparisons with other theropod dinosaurs suggest that ornithomimosaurs primitively exhibited a plesiomorphic theropod condition for axial pneumaticity that was extended among later taxa, such as Archaeornithomimus and large bodied Deinocheirus. This finding corroborates the notion that evolutionary increases in vertebral pneumaticity occurred in parallel among independent lineages of bird-line archosaurs. Beyond providing a comprehensive view of vertebral pneumaticity in a non-avian coelurosaur, this study demonstrates the utility and need of CT imaging for further clarifying the early evolutionary history of postcranial pneumaticity. PMID: 26682888 [PubMed - in process] 


16. BMC Res Notes. 2015 Dec 18;8(1):799. doi: 10.1186/s13104-015-1683-x. 

Evolutionary significance and diversification of the phosphoglucose isomerase genes in vertebrates. 
Tine M(1,)(2). Author information: (1)Molecular Zoology Laboratory, Department of Zoology, University of Johannesburg, Auckland Park, 2006, South Africa. tine@mpgpz.mpg.de. (2)Genome Centre Cologne at MPI for Plant Breeding Research, 22 Carl-von-Linné-Weg 10, 50829, Cologne, Germany. tine@mpgpz.mpg.de. 

Abstract
BACKGROUND: Phosphoglucose isomerase (PGI) genes are important multifunctional proteins whose evolution has, until now, not been well elucidated because of the limited number of completely sequenced genomes. Although the multifunctionality of this gene family has been considered as an original and innate characteristic, PGI genes may have acquired novel functions through changes in coding sequences and exon/intron structure, which are known to lead to functional divergence after gene duplication. A whole-genome comparative approach was used to estimate the rates of molecular evolution of this protein family. RESULTS: The results confirm the presence of two isoforms in teleost fishes and only one variant in all other vertebrates. Phylogenetic reconstructions grouped the PGI genes into five main groups: lungfishes/coelacanth/cartilaginous fishes, teleost fishes, amphibians, reptiles/birds and mammals, with the teleost group being subdivided into two subclades comprising PGI1 and PGI2. This PGI partitioning into groups is consistent with the synteny and molecular evolution results based on the estimation of the ratios of nonsynonymous to synonymous changes (Ka/Ks) and divergence rates between both PGI paralogs and orthologs. Teleost PGI2 shares more similarity with the variant found in all other vertebrates, suggesting that it has less evolved than PGI1 relative to the PGI of common vertebrate ancestor. CONCLUSIONS: The diversification of PGI genes into PGI1 and PGI2 is consistent with a teleost-specific duplication before the radiation of this lineage, and after its split from the other infraclasses of ray-finned fishes. The low average Ka/Ks ratios within teleost and mammalian lineages suggest that both PGI1 and PGI2 are functionally constrained by purifying selection and may, therefore, have the same functions. By contrast, the high average Ka/Ks ratios and divergence rates within reptiles and birds indicate that PGI may be involved in different functions. The synteny analyses show that the genomic region harbouring PGI genes has independently undergone genomic rearrangements in mammals versus the reptile/bird lineage in particular, which may have contributed to the actual functional diversification of this gene family. PMCID: PMC4684624 PMID: 26682538 [PubMed - in process] 


17. Evol Psychol. 2015 Apr 29;13(2):339-59. 

Human preferences for colorful birds: Vivid colors or pattern? 
Lišková S(1), Landová E(2), Frynta D(3). Author information: (1)National Institute of Mental Health, Klecany, Czech Republic.. (2)Department of Zoology, Faculty of Science, Charles University, Praha 2, Czech Republic; National Institute of Mental Health, Klecany, Czech Republic.. (3)Department of Zoology, Faculty of Science, Charles University, Praha 2, Czech Republic; National Institute of Mental Health, Klecany, Czech Republic. 

Abstract
In a previous study, we found that the shape of a bird, rather than its color, plays a major role in the determination of human preferences. Thus, in the present study, we asked whether the preferences of human respondents towards uniformly shaped, colorful birds are determined by pattern rather than color. The experimental stimuli were pictures of small passerine birds of the family Pittidae possessing uniform shape but vivid coloration. We asked 200 participants to rank 43 colored and 43 identical, but grayscaled, pictures of birds. To find the traits determining human preferences, we performed GLM analysis in which we tried to explain the mean preference ranks and PC axes by the following explanatory variables: the overall lightness and saturation, edges (pattern), and the portion of each of the basic color hues. The results showed that the mean preference ranks of the grayscale set is explained mostly by the birds' pattern, whereas the colored set ranking is mostly determined by the overall lightness. The effect of colors was weaker, but still significant, and revealed that people liked blue and green birds. We found no significant role of the color red, the perception of which was acquired relatively recently in evolution. PMID: 25920889 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]


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