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Iurino D.A.,University of Rome La Sapienza | Fico R.,Centro Of Referenza Nazionale Per La Medicina Forense Veterinaria | Sardella R.,University of Rome La Sapienza
Quaternary International | Year: 2015

Among fossil vertebrates, oral pathologies are of particular interest, because of their considerable effect on teeth and maxillary/dentary bones and, as a consequence, on mastication and feeding behaviour. This study focused on a pathological left hemimandible referred to the mustelid Meles meles unearthed from a Late Pleistocene karst filling deposit at San Sidero (Apulia, South Italy). This fossil shows unusual marked abnormalities related to a rare case of nonodontogenic chronic suppurative osteomyelitis. Clinical diagnosis of the disease and the timing of its development have been defined on the basis of a veterinary approach and X-ray analyses. Such a pathological condition can be explained as a consequence of a wound due to a porcupine quill. The analysis of the injury also provides information about the biomechanics of the bite and on the feeding behaviour. The study case confirms how palaeopathological analyses can be considered valuable tools to reconstruct the physiology of animals that lived in the past and to depict in detail the interactions among Late Pleistocene mammals, thus allowing a more accurate reconstruction of the ecology in fossil mammals. © 2014 Elsevier Ltd and INQUA. Source

Panayides P.,Game Fund Service | Lorenzini R.,Centro Of Referenza Nazionale Per La Medicina Forense Veterinaria | Garel M.,Center National Detudes Et Of Recherche Appliquee Faune Of Montagne | Anayiotos P.,Game Fund Service | Kassinis N.,Game Fund Service
Systematics and Biodiversity | Year: 2015

The mouflon population of Cyprus (Ovis orientalis ophion) comprises historically preserved feral descendants of sheep domesticated during the Neolithic. We determined genetic identity of this taxon in order to elucidate its systematic placement and enforce its protection. We used 12 loci of microsatellite DNA to infer genetic relationships between the Cypriot mouflon and either long-time isolated (Corsica, Sardinia) or recently introduced (central Italy) European mouflons (O. o. musimon). We also sequenced the mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) Cytochrome-b gene to infer the origin of the Cypriot mouflon including many National Centre for Biotechnology Information (NCBI) entries of European and Near Eastern conspecifics. Microsatellites disclosed net divergence between Western Mediterranean and Cypriot mouflon. The latter was included in the highly heterogeneous Near Eastern O. orientalis mtDNA group, Iran representing the most credited region as the source for its ancient introduction to Cyprus. Both international and national legislation protect the mouflon of Cyprus as a wild taxon (O. o. ophion). However, the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species and NCBI include the Cypriot mouflon as subspecies of its respective domestic species, the sheep (O. aries). Unfortunately, people charged with crime against protected mouflon may benefit from such taxonomic inconsistency between legislation and databases, as the latter can frustrate molecular DNA forensic outcomes. Until a definitive light can be shed on Near Eastern O. orientalis systematics, we suggest that the Cypriot mouflon should be unvaryingly referred to as O. o. ophion in order not to impair conservation in the country where it resides. © 2015 © The Trustees of the Natural History Museum, London 2015. All Rights Reserved. Source

Garofalo L.,University of Rome Tor Vergata | Garofalo L.,Centro Of Referenza Nazionale Per La Medicina Forense Veterinaria | Mastrogiacomo A.,University of Rome La Sapienza | Casale P.,University of Rome La Sapienza | And 12 more authors.
Aquatic Conservation: Marine and Freshwater Ecosystems | Year: 2013

In migratory species female- and male-mediated gene flow are important for defining relevant Management Units, and for evaluating connectivity between these and their respective foraging grounds. The stock composition at five Mediterranean foraging areas was investigated by analysing variation in the mitochondrial D-loop and six microsatellite loci in a sample of 268 loggerhead turtles (Caretta caretta) stranded or accidentally caught by fisheries. This involved a comprehensive Mixed Stock Analysis which considers also recent data from major rookeries in Libya and Turkey, and the generation of a standardized nomenclature of allele sizes at the microsatellite loci. The results indicate: that the north Adriatic, the Tunisian continental shelf, the waters around Malta and the Italian Ionian Sea represent important areas for the conservation of rookeries in Greece, Libya and Turkey, respectively; that waters off the Italian peninsula and the islands of Lampedusa and Malta are mainly inhabited by individuals of Mediterranean origin, with a major contribution from the nearest and largest colonies, while Atlantic turtles are restricted to the western areas; that specific migratory routes exist from rookeries to foraging grounds; a poor bi-parental genetic structuring, which suggests a high male-mediated gene flow in the Mediterranean; mixing of small turtles in waters distant from natal rookeries, and recovery of structuring for large-sized individuals; and that uncommon mtDNA haplotypes are more powerful markers than microsatellite alleles in assessing an individual's origin, owing to their higher geographic specificity. © 2013 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. Source

Mariacher A.,Centro Of Referenza Nazionale Per La Medicina Forense Veterinaria | Eleni C.,Centro Of Referenza Nazionale Per La Medicina Forense Veterinaria
Helminthologia (Poland) | Year: 2015

Reports of Pearsonema plica and Eucoleus böhmi infections in wolves (Canis lupus) in Europe are limited and data on associated lesions are lacking. In the present study urinary bladders, nasal turbinates and faecal samples from 8 necropsied wolves were examined for P. plica and E. böhmi infections and associated lesions. P. plica was identified in the bladder of four wolves. At histological examination, follicular chronic cystitis and eosinophilic cystitis were found. E. böhmi nematodes and eggs were identified from the nasal turbinates and rectal faecal samples of three wolves. Worms and eggs were found embedded in the mucosa among the nasal bone laminae. Two wolves were found coinfected by P. plica and E. böhmi. This is the first report of P. plica and E. böhmi infections in wolves from Italy and the first description of pathological lesions associated with P. plica infection in wolves. © 2015 2015. Source

Garofalo L.,Centro Of Referenza Nazionale Per La Medicina Forense Veterinaria | Garofalo L.,University of Rome Tor Vergata | Zaccaroni A.,University of Bologna | Scaravelli D.,University of Bologna | And 4 more authors.
Mediterranean Marine Science | Year: 2012

A putative hybrid sea turtle juvenile was evaluated with discriminant DNA markers. When compared with standard values for sea turtles, the general morphological features assigned the specimen to Caretta caretta, while the shape and coloration of the head and the beak profile fell within the Eretmochelys imbricata range; the front flippers were instead like those of a Chelonia mydas. Moreover, prefrontal scale number was outside the putative parental species' ranges. The mitochondrial D-loop sequence was from C. caretta, and matched haplotype CC-A2.1, the most common in the Mediterranean. Sequence profiles at three nuclear loci with species-specific substitutions (Cmos, BDNF and R35) revealed only C. caretta variants, thus excluding that the individual was an F1 hybrid. This study highlights the importance of integrating different methodological approaches to understand reproductive animal biology and to set the boundaries for specific morphological traits. In particular, we propose the genetic analysis of a new combination of mitochondrial and nuclear markers as a standard procedure which can be adopted in the identification of sea turtle hybrids. Source

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