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Klompen H.,Ohio State University | Junge R.E.,Columbus Zoo and Aquarium | Williams C.V.,Duke University
Journal of Medical Entomology | Year: 2015

An examination of ectoparasite loads in two populations of wild diademed sifakas, Propithecus diadema Bennett, yielded seven species-four mite species, a louse, a hippoboscid fly, and a leech. Prevalence of the tick Haemaphysalis lemuris Hoogstraal, the mites Liponyssella madagascariensis (Hirst) and Lemuralges propithecus Bochkov et al., and the louse Trichophilopterus babakotophilus Stobbe was quite high, at least 20%. H. lemuris was the most common ectoparasite in one population, while completely absent in a second one. When present, the most common attachment site for H. lemuris males was in the nares of their hosts. © The Authors 2015. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of Entomological Society of America. All rights reserved. Source


Hagedorn M.,Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute | Hagedorn M.,Hawaii Institute of Marine Biology | Carter V.,Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute | Carter V.,Hawaii Institute of Marine Biology | And 20 more authors.
PLoS ONE | Year: 2012

Coral reefs are experiencing unprecedented degradation due to human activities, and protecting specific reef habitats may not stop this decline, because the most serious threats are global (i.e., climate change), not local. However, ex situ preservation practices can provide safeguards for coral reef conservation. Specifically, modern advances in cryobiology and genome banking could secure existing species and genetic diversity until genotypes can be introduced into rehabilitated habitats. We assessed the feasibility of recovering viable sperm and embryonic cells post-thaw from two coral species, Acropora palmata and Fungia scutaria that have diffferent evolutionary histories, ecological niches and reproductive strategies. In vitro fertilization (IVF) of conspecific eggs using fresh (control) spermatozoa revealed high levels of fertilization (>90% in A. palmata; >84% in F. scutaria; P>0.05) that were unaffected by tested sperm concentrations. A solution of 10% dimethyl sulfoxide (DMSO) at cooling rates of 20 to 30°C/min most successfully cryopreserved both A. palmata and F. scutaria spermatozoa and allowed producing developing larvae in vitro. IVF success under these conditions was 65% in A. palmata and 53% in F. scutaria on particular nights; however, on subsequent nights, the same process resulted in little or no IVF success. Thus, the window for optimal freezing of high quality spermatozoa was short (~5 h for one night each spawning cycle). Additionally, cryopreserved F. scutaria embryonic cells had~50% post-thaw viability as measured by intact membranes. Thus, despite some differences between species, coral spermatozoa and embryonic cells are viable after low temperature (-196°C) storage, preservation and thawing. Based on these results, we have begun systematically banking coral spermatozoa and embryonic cells on a large-scale as a support approach for preserving existing bio- and genetic diversity found in reef systems. Source


Ihms E.A.,Ohio State University | Daniels J.B.,Ohio State University | Koivisto C.S.,Ohio State University | Barrie M.T.,Columbus Zoo and Aquarium | Russell D.S.,Ohio State University
Journal of Medical Primatology | Year: 2014

Background: Bacterial infections commonly affect the lungs and air sacs of orangutans; culture and identification is rarely performed and may have clinical relevance. Methods: Necropsy, histopathology and bacterial culture were performend on a captive adult male Sumatran orangutan with chronic air sacculitis. Bacterial speciation was confirmed by sequencing of the 16s-23s ribosomal DNA spacer region. Results: Necropsy revealed severe suppurative pneumonia. Moderate growth of Streptoccocus anginosus was recovered from the lungs. Conclusions: This is the first report of S. anginosus as a cause of fatal suppurative pneumonia in a non-human primate. © 2013 John Wiley & Sons A/S. Published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd. Source


Boose K.J.,University of Oregon | White F.J.,University of Oregon | Meinelt A.,Columbus Zoo and Aquarium
American Journal of Primatology | Year: 2013

All the great ape species are known tool users in both the wild and captivity, although there is great variation in ability and behavioral repertoire. Differences in tool use acquisition between chimpanzees and gorillas have been attributed to differing levels of social tolerance as a result of differences in social structure. Chimpanzees also show sex differences in acquisition and both chimpanzees and bonobos demonstrate a female bias in tool use behaviors. Studies of acquisition are limited in the wild and between species comparisons are complicated in captivity by contexts that often do not reflect natural conditions. Here we investigated tool use acquisition in a captive group of naïve bonobos by simulating naturalistic conditions. We constructed an artificial termite mound fashioned after those that occur in the wild and tested individuals within a social group context. We found sex differences in latencies to attempt and to succeed where females attempted to fish, were successful more quickly, and fished more frequently than males. We compared our results to those reported for chimpanzees and gorillas. Males across all three species did not differ in latency to attempt or to succeed. In contrast, bonobo and chimpanzee females succeeded more quickly than did female gorillas. Female bonobos and female chimpanzees did not differ in either latency to attempt or to succeed. We tested the social tolerance hypothesis by investigating the relationship between tool behaviors and number of neighbors present. We also compared these results to those reported for chimpanzees and gorillas and found that bonobos had the fewest numbers of neighbors present. The results of this study do not support the association between number of neighbors and tool behavior reported for chimpanzees. However, bonobos demonstrated a similar sex difference in tool use acquisition, supporting the hypothesis of a female bias in tool use in Pan. © 2013 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. Source


News Article
Site: http://news.yahoo.com/science/

A gorilla named Susie eats a pumpkin in her enclosure at the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium in Powell, Ohio in this October 25, 2014 handout photo provided by the Columbus Zoo on March 31, 2016. REUTERS/Columbus Zoo and Aquarium/Amanda Carberry/Handout via Reuters More WASHINGTON (Reuters) - A gorilla named Susie is helping provide fresh insight into the genetic similarities and differences between people and these endangered apes that are among our closest living relatives. Scientists on Thursday unveiled an upgraded version of the gorilla genome based on DNA from Susie, an 11-year-old Western lowland gorilla at the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium in Ohio, that fills in many gaps present in the first gorilla genetic map published in 2012. The new research revealed that gorillas and humans are slightly more closely related genetically than previously recognized, with the genomes diverging by just 1.6 percent. Only chimpanzees and bonobos are more closely related to humans. The new genome shows that some areas of genetic differences include: the immune and reproductive systems; sensory perception; the production of keratin, a key protein in the structure of hair, fingernails and skin; and the regulation of insulin, the hormone that governs blood sugar levels. "The differences between species may aid researchers in identifying regions of the human genome that are associated with higher cognition, complex language, behaviour and neurological diseases," said University of Washington genetic researcher Christopher Hill, one of the lead authors of the study published in the journal Science. "Having complete and accurate reference genomes to compare allows researchers to uncover these differences," Hill added. The University of Washington lab that spearheaded the study is working to create a comprehensive catalogue of genetic differences between humans and the great apes: gorillas, orangutans, chimpanzees and bonobos. Recent studies have estimated that the gorilla and human evolutionary lineages split about 12 million to 8.5 million years ago, Hill said. Gorillas, typically found in lowland and mountain tropical rainforests in central Africa, are the world's largest primates, the mammalian group that includes lemurs, monkeys, apes and humans. Adult males reach up to about 440 pounds (200 kg). Gorillas spend about half their time munching on stems, bamboo shoots and a number of fruits. Their populations are threatened by human activities such as habitat destruction and poaching for bushmeat. A blood sample from Susie while the gorilla previously lived at Chicago's Lincoln Park Zoo provided the basis for the genome sequencing.

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