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Dubai, United Arab Emirates

Benato L.,University of Edinburgh | Rice C.J.,46 School Road | Wernery U.,Central Veterinary Research Laboratory CVRL | McKeown S.,Sheikh Butti Maktoums Wildlife Center | Bailey T.A.,Dubai Falcon Hospital
Journal of Zoo and Wildlife Medicine | Year: 2013

Analysis of vitamins and trace elements has gained importance in avian medicine in recent years. It has become evident that interpretation should be based on species-specific reference intervals due to differences in intervals between species. This study was performed to evaluate the blood concentrations of vitamins A (retinol), B1 (thiamine), C (ascorbic acid), and E (α-tocopherol) and trace elements copper, selenium, and zinc for greater flamingos (Phoeniconaias (Phoenicopterus) rubeus) and lesser flamingos (Phoeniconaias minor). Reference intervals of vitamins and trace elements are presented for clinically healthy flamingos. Thirty-six clinically healthy greater flamingos, divided into male and female groups, and 14 healthy lesser flamingos were evaluated. There was no significant difference in the vitamin and trace element concentrations between male and female greater flamingos, but there was a statistically significant difference between greater flamingos and lesser flamingos for ascorbic acid, copper, and selenium. Blood concentration of ascorbic acid was greater (P < 0.001) in lesser flamingos (122.66 ± 31.53 μM) than in male and female greater flamingos (40.53 ± 13.83 and 30.44 ± 11.43 μM, respectively). Blood concentrations of copper and selenium were greater (P < 0.001) in greater flamingos (copper: 5.57 ± 1.3 μM for males, 5.65 ± 1.53 μM for females; selenium: 2.74 ± 0.43 μM for males, 2.54 ± 0.7 μM for females) than lesser flamingos (copper: 2.45 ± 1.96 μM; selenium: 0.45 ± 0.29 μM). The mean ± SD of vitamins A, B1, and E and zinc are reported as entire group (male and female greater flamingos and lesser flamingos): vitamin A, 1.54 ± 0.45 μM; thiamine, 0.49 ± 0.07 μM; vitamin E, 31 ± 9.8 μmol/L; and zinc, 29.52 ± 6.49 μM. © 2013 American Association of Zoo Veterinarians. Source

Chaber A.-L.,UK Institute of Zoology | Lloyd C.,Nad al Sheba Veterinary Hospital | O'Donovan D.,Wadi Al Safa Wildlife Center | McKeown S.,Sheik Butti Wildlife Center | And 2 more authors.
Journal of Wildlife Diseases | Year: 2012

Q fever, a highly infectious zoonotic disease caused by Coxiella burnetii, has not been officially reported in the United Arab Emirates (UAE). This first serosurvey of a large group of semi-free-ranging animals in the UAE indicates that a wide range of ungulates have been exposed C. burnettii in the region. © Wildlife Disease Association 2012. Source

Beckmann K.M.,Dubai Falcon Hospital | Beckmann K.M.,UK Institute of Zoology | O'Donovan D.,Wadi Al Safa Wildlife Center | McKeown S.,eikh Butti Al Maktoums Wildlife Center | And 4 more authors.
Journal of Zoo and Wildlife Medicine | Year: 2013

There are few published data regarding the endangered Northern-East African cheetah (Acinonyx jubatus soemmeringii), held in captivity in the Middle East and Europe. Studies have demonstrated a high incidence of disease in captive cheetahs, in which vitamin and trace element imbalances have often been implicated. Blood vitamin and trace element reference values in cheetahs merit further investigation. In this study, blood samples were opportunistically collected from apparently healthy A. j. soemmeringii from two collections (A and B) with successful breeding programs in the United Arab Emirates. The cheetahs were fed whole prey of mixed species (and, in Collection B, goat muscle and bone as well) dusted with vitamin and mineral supplements. Mean serum vitamin and trace element values (for cheetahs > 4 mo in age) were as follows: vitamin A (retinol), 2.20 μM/L (n = 27); vitamin B1, 0.0818 μM/L (n = 45); vitamin C, 28.6 μM/L (n = 10); vitamin E (α-tocopherol), 35.6 μM/L (n = 27); copper (Cu), 12.53 μM/L (n = 27); selenium (Se), 3.10 μM/L (n = 27); and zinc (Zn), 10.87 μM/L (n = 27). Mean values of vitamin A, vitamin E, Cu, and Zn fell within ranges of published cheetah mean values, and mean Se was lower than range values for cheetahs presented in one previous study; blood vitamin B1 and vitamin C values of cheetahs have not previously been published. The values were taken to indicate that the cheetahs' nutritional status was adequate with regard to those nutrients analyzed. Serum vitamin E was particularly high in cheetahs fed fresh whole prey, and on this basis vitamin E supplementation of fresh whole prey appeared to have been unnecessary. There were differences (P < 0.05) between collections in serum vitamin B1, vitamin E, Cu, and 10 other hematologic and biochemical parameters. Nine hematologic and blood biochemical parameters differed among age categories. © American Association of Zoo Veterinarians. Source

Jarvis E.D.,Howard Hughes Medical Institute | Mirarab S.,University of Texas at Austin | Aberer A.J.,Heidelberg Institute for Theoretical Studies | Li B.,China National Genebank | And 128 more authors.
Science | Year: 2014

To better determine the history of modern birds, we performed a genome-scale phylogenetic analysis of 48 species representing all orders of Neoaves using phylogenomic methods created to handle genome-scale data.We recovered a highly resolved tree that confirms previously controversial sister or close relationships.We identified the first divergence in Neoaves, two groups we named Passerea and Columbea, representing independent lineages of diverse and convergently evolved land and water bird species. Among Passerea, we infer the common ancestor of core landbirds to have been an apex predator and confirm independent gains of vocal learning. Among Columbea, we identify pigeons and flamingoes as belonging to sister clades. Even with whole genomes, some of the earliest branches in Neoaves proved challenging to resolve, which was best explained by massive protein-coding sequence convergence and high levels of incomplete lineage sorting that occurred during a rapid radiation after the Cretaceous-Paleogene mass extinction event about 66 million years ago. Source

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