John G. Shedd Aquarium

Chicago, IL, United States

John G. Shedd Aquarium

Chicago, IL, United States
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Noren S.R.,University of California at Santa Cruz | Williams T.M.,University of California at Santa Cruz | Ramirez K.,John G. Shedd Aquarium | Boehm J.,John G. Shedd Aquarium | And 2 more authors.
Journal of Comparative Physiology B: Biochemical, Systemic, and Environmental Physiology | Year: 2012

Odontocetes have an exceptional range in body mass spanning 10 3 kg across species. Because, size influences oxygen utilization and carbon dioxide production rates in mammals, this lineage likely displays an extraordinary variation in oxygen store management compared to other marine mammal groups. To examine this, we measured changes in the partial pressures of respiratory gases (P o2, P co2), pH, and lactate in the blood during voluntary, quiescent, submerged breath holds in Pacific white-sided dolphins (Lagenorhynchus obliquidens), bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus), and a killer whale (Orcinus orca) representing a mass range of 96-3,850 kg. These measurements provided an empirical determination of the effect of body size on the variability in blood biochemistry during breath hold and experimentally determined aerobic dive limits (ADL) within one taxonomic group (odontocetes). For the species in this study, maximum voluntary breath-hold duration was positively correlated with body mass, ranging from 3.5 min in white-sided dolphins to 13.3 min for the killer whale. Variation in breath-hold duration was associated with differences in the rate of change for P o2 throughout breath hold; Po 2 decreased twice as fast for the two smaller species (-0.6 mmHg O 2 min -1) compared to the largest species (-0.3 mmHg O 2 min -1). P co2 during breath hold was similar across species. These results demonstrate that large body size in odontocetes facilitates increased aerobic breath-hold capacity as mediated by decreased mass-specific metabolic rates (rates of change in P o2 served as a proxy for oxygen utilization). Indeed the experimentally determined 5 min ADL for bottlenose dolphins was surpassed by the 13.3 min maximum breath hold of the killer whale, which did not end in a rise in lactate. Rather, breath hold ended voluntarily as respiratory gases and pH fell within a narrow range for both large and small species, likely providing cues for ventilation. © 2011 Springer-Verlag.


Knapp C.R.,John G. Shedd Aquarium | Knapp C.R.,San Diego Zoos Institute for Conservation Research | Alvarez-Clare S.,University of Florida | Perez-Heydrich C.,University of Florida
Copeia | Year: 2010

The relationship between dispersal and predatorprey interactions in heterogeneous landscapes is an underappreciated factor influencing species persistence. This relationship, however, is critical for understanding population dynamics and for implementing management strategies for species. We investigated the influence of habitat heterogeneity and dispersal patterns on neonate survival for the iguana Cyclura cychlura cychlura inhabiting Andros Island in the Bahamas. Contrary to our hypothesis, there was a clear survival advantage for neonates that spent more time in open mangrove habitat than relatively more closed-canopy habitats, most likely because of fewer primary predators in mangroves relative to other habitats. Snake predation was the most significant cause of mortality for neonates dispersing away from nest sites and was highest during the first week after release. The probability of survival to 28 days ranged from 16.7 to 28.4. Most neonates displayed rapid, nearly linear movements away from nests for a minimum of 14 to 21 days. Mean straight-line distance away from nest sites for surviving neonates was 601 m. There was a significant positive relationship between mean daily movement rates away from nests and days survived. We suspect that the initial and rapid movements away from nests reduce relative predation by dispersing neonates from a zone where predators learn to exploit them. Our results have implications for translocation programs targeting endangered insular iguanas throughout the Neotropics because historically only the presence of non-native mammalian predators was used as a metric to evaluate potential translocation sites. © 2010 by the American Society of Ichthyologists and Herpetologists.


PubMed | John G. Shedd Aquarium, Northwestern University, 600 Blair Stone Road and Field Museum of Natural History
Type: | Journal: BMC ecology | Year: 2016

At the forefront of ecosystems adversely affected by climate change, coral reefs are sensitive to anomalously high temperatures which disassociate (bleaching) photosynthetic symbionts (Symbiodinium) from coral hosts and cause increasingly frequent and severe mass mortality events. Susceptibility to bleaching and mortality is variable among corals, and is determined by unknown proportions of environmental history and the synergy of Symbiodinium- and coral-specific properties. Symbiodinium live within host tissues overlaying the coral skeleton, which increases light availability through multiple light-scattering, forming one of the most efficient biological collectors of solar radiation. Light-transport in the upper ~200 m layer of corals skeletons (measured as microscopic reduced-scattering coefficient, (S,m)), has been identified as a determinant of excess light increase during bleaching and is therefore a potential determinant of the differential rate and severity of bleaching response among coral species.Here we experimentally demonstrate (in ten coral species) that, under thermal stress alone or combined thermal and light stress, low-(S,m) corals bleach at higher rate and severity than high-(S,m) corals and the Symbiodinium associated with low-(S,m) corals experience twice the decrease in photochemical efficiency. We further modelled the light absorbed by Symbiodinium due to skeletal-scattering and show that the estimated skeleton-dependent light absorbed by Symbiodinium (per unit of photosynthetic pigment) and the temporal rate of increase in absorbed light during bleaching are several fold higher in low-(S,m) corals.While symbionts associated with low-[Formula: see text] corals receive less total light from the skeleton, they experience a higher rate of light increase once bleaching is initiated and absorbing bodies are lost; further precipitating the bleaching response. Because microscopic skeletal light-scattering is a robust predictor of light-dependent bleaching among the corals assessed here, this work establishes (S,m) as one of the key determinants of differential bleaching response.


Hyatt M.W.,Georgia Aquarium | Anderson P.A.,The Florida Aquarium Center for Conservation | O'Donnell P.M.,Rookery Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve | Berzins I.K.,John G. Shedd Aquarium
Comparative Biochemistry and Physiology - A Molecular and Integrative Physiology | Year: 2012

Blood gasses of wild bonnethead, bull, and lemon sharks were measured with the i-STAT clinical analyzer with the CG4+ cartridge immediately after capture; and again immediately prior to release after tagging, handling and morphometric measurements were taken. Relative reference ranges of post-capture status were established. Among species, stress response to capture was similar for all parameters; however, pH declined and lactate concentrations rose over time, indicating continued insult from capture and/or response to additional handling stress. pCO 2 rose faster for S. tiburo than for C. leucas, and lactate concentrations rose faster for S. tiburo than for N. brevirostris. All species caught in gillnets experienced lower pH and higher lactate concentrations than on longlines. Discriminant analysis justified the use of blood gas analysis to assess physiological stress induced by different capture methods. From these results, we recommend 1) that gear be monitored closely and sharks be removed immediately, or suboptimally, that gear is deployed for the shortest soak time possible; 2) longline over gillnet gear; and 3) extra caution with sensitive species (e.g., S. tiburo), which may include the administration of blood buffers and other therapeutics if a shark is beyond the limits of relative reference ranges reported here. © 2011 Elsevier Inc.


Lesniak T.C.,John G. Shedd Aquarium | Lesniak T.C.,Northeastern Illinois University | Schirmer A.E.,Northeastern Illinois University | Knapp C.R.,Daniel erther Center For Conservation Research
Zoo Biology | Year: 2014

We conducted a temperature-dependent reproductive study on Yellow Stingrays (Urobatis jamaicensis) at the John G. Shedd Aquarium, Chicago, Illinois. A group of eight and six female rays were mated in 22°C ("cold") and 27°C ("warm") water, respectively, over a two-year period. Mating behavior, gestation length, pup yields, body condition indices, and activity levels were compared throughout both temperature trials. Mating behavior (e.g., pre-copulatory pursuits and behavior) did not differ between temperature trials. Cold trial gestation was incomplete and yielded no pups, while the warm trial resulted in three successful births and one stillborn birth. Body condition indices and overall activity were significantly decreased in the cold trials. These data suggest consequences for rearing Yellow Stingrays in cooler water and should aid in successful reproduction of U. jamaicensis at zoos and aquariums. Zoo Biol. 34:33-39, 2015. © 2014 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.


Opriessnig T.,Iowa State University | Shen H.G.,Iowa State University | Bender J.S.,Iowa State University | Boehm J.R.,John G. Shedd Aquarium | Halbur P.G.,Iowa State University
Journal of Comparative Pathology | Year: 2013

In order to determine the diversity and pathogenicity of Erysipelothrix spp. isolates recovered from marine fish, a harbour seal (Phoca vitulina) and the marine environment, 14 isolates were characterized by genotyping, serotyping, determination of the surface protective antigen (spa) gene type and assessment of virulence in a pig bioassay. All 14 isolates were Erysipelothrix rhusiopathiae. Isolates were determined to be of serotypes 2 (n = 3), 3 (n = 1), 4 (n = 1), 12 (n = 1), 15 (n = 1) or 21 (n = 6), and one isolate cross-reacted with serotypes 5 and 21. The spa gene analysis determined that 64.3% (n = 9) were spaA and 35.7% (n = 5) were spaB1. In pigs, 10/14 isolates induced small plaques to diamond-shaped cutaneous lesions consistent with Erysipelothrix spp. infection. The results of this study indicate that the marine E. rhusiopathiae isolates have greater genetic and antigenic diversity than pig isolates and are capable of inducing classical skin lesions in pigs. © 2012 Elsevier Ltd.


Meyer D.Z.,Illinois Institute of Technology | Kubarek-Sandor J.,John G. Shedd Aquarium | Heitzman C.L.,Illinois Institute of Technology | Faik S.A.,Illinois Institute of Technology | Pan Y.,Illinois Institute of Technology
ASEE Annual Conference and Exposition, Conference Proceedings | Year: 2012

The recently released Framework for K-12 Science Education Standards emphasizes the importance of science and engineering practices to the K-12 classroom. This continues the stress on process and authentic activities that has characterized science education reform over at least the last two decades. It also adds the more explicit inclusion of engineering that has characterized more recent efforts. However, creating these experiences in the classroom is far from trivial. Much of the work looking at the specific structure of such inquiry-based activities at the K-12 level has consisted of either articulating intended goals or rubrics for assessing the degree of inquiry learning. This paper is intended to illuminate the means for achieving those goals and levels by generating a taxonomy of different pedagogical structures used for inquiry activities. We aim to articulate structures that are more general than individual lessons but more specific than broad goals. By systematically reviewing over 300 activities across a variety of curriculum sources, content areas and grade bands, we have validated a set of eight inquiry activity structures: Protocol, Design Challenge, Product Testing, Black Box, Discrepant Event, Intrinsic Data Space, Taxonomy, And Modeling. We further explore how particular structures are better suited to emphasizing engineering in the K12 classroom, and assess the adequacy of engineering practice exercises across subject areas and grade bands. We found the prevalence of activities that included engineering practices to lag behind the prevalence of those including science practices. However, the dominant activity structure including engineering practices - the Design Challenge - was also far better at other activity structures at promoting inquiry-based learning. © 2012 American Society for Engineering Education.


Naples L.M.,John G. Shedd Aquarium | Poll C.P.,John G. Shedd Aquarium | Berzins I.K.,John G. Shedd Aquarium
Journal of Zoo and Wildlife Medicine | Year: 2012

An adult male beluga whale (Delphinapterus leucas leucas) was presented with a 4-cm-diameter, raised, firm nodule on the medial aspect of the left pectoral fin. A fissure developed within the center of the nodule, which formed an ulcerated cyst-like lesion. The lesion rapidly progressed in size, and, with peeling of material present within the cyst, the lesion flattened to a 36 × 25-cm cutaneous ulcer that extended into the axilla. Histopathologic features were consistent with lymphocytic and suppurative dermatitis with intralesional fungi. Fusarium solani was diagnosed by polymerase chain reaction (PCR). Fungal susceptibility testing was performed and revealed drug resistance to multiple antifungal medications tested individually and in combination therapies. Treatments used included serial surgical debridement of affected and surrounding tissue, topical application and regional infusion of various azole, and allylamine antifungals combined with either dimethyl sulfoxide or TricideB for absorption potentiation, and oral voriconazole administration. Although susceptibility testing revealed resistance to voriconazole, visible improvement of the lesion was noted after 6 weeks of oral voriconazole therapy. The voriconazole dosage was tapered based on serum levels and was administered over a 12-mo period. No local recurrence or new lesions were visible by 14 mo from first presentation. Copyright © 2012 by American Association of Zoo Veterinarians.


PubMed | John G. Shedd Aquarium
Type: Comparative Study | Journal: Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association | Year: 2012

To establish reference ranges for critical care blood values measured in wild and aquarium-housed elasmobranchs by use of a point-of-care (POC) blood analyzer and to compare values on the basis of species category (pelagic, benthic, or intermediate) and phlebotomy site.Cross-sectional study.66 wild and 89 aquarium-housed elasmobranchs (sharks and rays).Aquarium-housed elasmobranchs were anesthetized for sample collection; wild elasmobranchs were caught via hook and line fishing, manually restrained for sample collection, and released. Blood was collected from 2 sites/fish (dorsal sinus region and tail vasculature) and analyzed with the POC analyzer. Reference values of critical care blood analytes were calculated for species most represented in each population. Values were compared on the basis of species categorization (pelagic, intermediate, or benthic) and collection site.Oxygen saturation and circulating concentrations of lactate and glucose were significantly different among aquarium-housed pelagic, intermediate, and benthic species. Lactate concentration was significantly different among these categories in wild elasmobranchs. Significant differences were detected between samples from the 2 collection sites for all blood analytes. In both study populations, pH and lactate values were infrequently < 7.2 or > 5 mmol/L, respectively.Brevity of handling or chemical restraint may have reduced secondary stress responses in fish because extreme variations in blood analyte values were infrequent. Sample collection site, species categorization, acclimation to handling, and restraint technique should be considered when assessing values obtained with the POC analyzer used in this study for blood analytes and immediate metabolic status in elasmobranchs.


PubMed | John G. Shedd Aquarium
Type: Case Reports | Journal: Journal of zoo and wildlife medicine : official publication of the American Association of Zoo Veterinarians | Year: 2012

An adult male beluga whale (Delphinapterus leucas leucas) was presented with a 4-cm-diameter, raised, firm nodule on the medial aspect of the left pectoral fin. A fissure developed within the center of the nodule, which formed an ulcerated cyst-like lesion. The lesion rapidly progressed in size, and, with peeling of material present within the cyst, the lesion flattened to a 36 x 25-cm cutaneous ulcer that extended into the axilla. Histopathologic features were consistent with lymphocytic and suppurative dermatitis with intralesional fungi. Fusarium solani was diagnosed by polymerase chain reaction (PCR). Fungal susceptibility testing was performed and revealed drug resistance to multiple antifungal medications tested individually and in combination therapies. Treatments used included serial surgical debridement of affected and surrounding tissue, topical application and regional infusion of various azole, and allylamine antifungals combined with either dimethyl sulfoxide or Tricide for absorption potentiation, and oral voriconazole administration. Although susceptibility testing revealed resistance to voriconazole, visible improvement of the lesion was noted after 6 weeks of oral voriconazole therapy. The voriconazole dosage was tapered based on serum levels and was administered over a 12-mo period. No local recurrence or new lesions were visible by 14 mo from first presentation.

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