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Dresden, Germany

Troll S.,Martin Luther University of Halle Wittenberg | Troll S.,University of Leipzig | Gottschalk J.,University of Leipzig | Seeburger J.,Heart Center Leipzig | And 4 more authors.
Theriogenology | Year: 2013

Little is known about reproductive physiology in the two-toed sloth (Choloepus didactylus). Therefore, the aim of this study was to obtain detailed information about the ovarian cycle. Measurements of reliable gonadal steroids in the feces of this species were undertaken. For this purpose, fecal samples were collected one to three times per week from nonpregnant captive females (n = 2) over a 16-month period. Before assay analysis, the fecal samples were extracted with methanol. Radioimmunoassays and enzyme immunoassays for fecal progesterone, estradiol-17β, pregnanediol-glucuronide (PdG), and estrone sulfate were tested for their ability to detect the ovarian activity. Using the lowest and highest progesterone values, the ovarian cycle length was comparatively analyzed. The ovarian cycle (n = 26) averaged between 31.4 ± 9.1 days (lowest progesterone) and 32.5 ± 7.5 days (highest progesterone) throughout the whole year. The length of the follicular phase, as indicated by low progesterone levels, was 18.1 ± 4.4 days (range 12-25 days), and the length of the luteal phase, as characterized by elevated progesterone levels, was 13.2 ± 1.8 days (range 11-16 days). In contrast, estradiol-17β and estrone sulfate were not suitable to detect the cycle due to irregular collection intervals. Fecal progesterone and PdG, as well as estradiol-17β and estrone sulfate, significantly correlated (r = 0.621, P < 0.01 and r = 0.606, P < 0.01). PdG concentrations (dilution factor (DF) 1:40) were considerably higher than progesterone concentrations (DF 1:10), PdG amounted in the range of 1326.7 ± 320.2 ng/g wet feces (animal S1) and 1373.8 ± 468.3 ng/g wet feces (animal S2) compared with progesterone concentrations in the range of 98.0 ± 17.0 ng/g (S1) and 105.9 ± 30.0 ng/g (S2). The estrone sulfate levels (DF 1:2) were similar to estradiol-17β (DF 1:22). The mean fecal estradiol-17β concentrations were 6.7 ± 0.9 ng/g for animal S1 and 7.5 ± 1.6 ng/g for animal S2. In conclusion, the ovarian activity of the two-toed sloth was studied using the noninvasive method by means of the fecal steroid monitoring. Progesterone was the most reliable fecal steroid hormone to determine the duration of the ovarian cycle independent of the weekly defecation rate. The course of progesterone concentrations resulted in a cycle length of 4-5 weeks length in the two-toed sloth. Thus, the reproductive activity of the two-toed sloth does not show any seasonality like the three-toed sloth. © 2013 Elsevier Inc.

Within a four-year period, 42 Humboldt penguins ( Spheniscus humboldti Meyen, 1834) kept at Zoo Dresden died from infections with different opportunistic bacterial and fungal pathogens. Despite rigorous search for underlying causes, including post mortem examinations, sample collection from living penguins and thorough inspection of the artificial environment inhabited by the birds, no single causative factor could be identified to be responsible for the highly increased mortality. Instead, the authors assume a multifactorial background. Contributing factors might include primary or predisposing infectious agents, toxic substances, stress, pool water and air quality as well as hygienic aspects like handling and preparation of fish. © 2015.

Dresden Zoo bred successfully the Malaysian giant turtle (Orlitia borneensis) in summer 2012. This was the first successful breeding of this species in Germany.Little is known about biology and behaviour of this large river turtle and keeping and especially breeding of this endangered species in captivity is a rarity. In order to create optimal breeding conditions Dresden Zoo rebuilt an enclosure for the turtles in 2010. An area with soil and sand was built for the expected egg deposition. After arranged matings one female dug a nest on this area and buried her eggs. Nine eggs were secured and transferred into an incubator in a box filled with a 1:1 mixture of vermiculite and water. The average temperature was 29. °C. After problems with the temperature regulation the damaged incubator had to be replaced. Because of an estimated incubation period of 3-4 months, one egg was opened on day 127 of incubation. A live hatchling with a big yolk sac was fetched. Because of the non-reabsorbed yolk sac the hatchling was further incubated. On day 154 of incubation all eggs were manually opened and the hatchlings were fetched. All of these hatchlings showed a non-reabsorbed yolk sac and were incubated onwards in a box with wet paper towel until the yolk sac was completely reabsorbed. After that the hatchlings were housed solitarily in a box with water of approximately 4. cm height and a small land area. Two days after housing food was offered for the first time. All hatchlings accepted the offered food consisting of herbal as well as of animal products and later turtle pellets and self-made turtle jelly.Though little is known about breeding this species, the breeding success of Dresden Zoo demonstrates a possible approach to this topic. But there are still things to optimize. For example the manual hatching is something that should be avoided in future. Fertilization and hatching rate of 100% are promising and up to date eight out of nine hatchlings are still alive. © 2013 .

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