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Behavior, Animal - Top 30 Publications

Short- and long-term electric collar considerations.

Dietary Patterns and Breast Cancer Risk: A Systematic Review.

The association of dietary patterns representing multiple dietary components and breast cancer risk is not clearly understood. Our objective was to conduct a systematic review of the association between dietary patterns and breast cancer risk.

Model of Collective Fish Behavior with Hydrodynamic Interactions.

Fish schooling is often modeled with self-propelled particles subject to phenomenological behavioral rules. Although fish are known to sense and exploit flow features, these models usually neglect hydrodynamics. Here, we propose a novel model that couples behavioral rules with far-field hydrodynamic interactions. We show that (1) a new "collective turning" phase emerges, (2) on average, individuals swim faster thanks to the fluid, and (3) the flow enhances behavioral noise. The results of this model suggest that hydrodynamic effects should be considered to fully understand the collective dynamics of fish.

Remote monitoring of vibrational information in spider webs.

Spiders are fascinating model species to study information-acquisition strategies, with the web acting as an extension of the animal's body. Here, we compare the strategies of two orb-weaving spiders that acquire information through vibrations transmitted and filtered in the web. Whereas Araneus diadematus monitors web vibration directly on the web, Zygiella x-notata uses a signal thread to remotely monitor web vibration from a retreat, which gives added protection. We assess the implications of these two information-acquisition strategies on the quality of vibration information transfer, using laser Doppler vibrometry to measure vibrations of real webs and finite element analysis in computer models of webs. We observed that the signal thread imposed no biologically relevant time penalty for vibration propagation. However, loss of energy (attenuation) was a cost associated with remote monitoring via a signal thread. The findings have implications for the biological use of vibrations by spiders, including the mechanisms to locate and discriminate between vibration sources. We show that orb-weaver spiders are fascinating examples of organisms that modify their physical environment to shape their information-acquisition strategy.

In vitro chemokine (C-C motif) receptor 6-dependent non-inflammatory chemotaxis during spermatogenesis.

Chemokine (C-C motif) receptor 6 (CCR6) is present in sperm and plays a significant role in sperm motility and chemotaxis acting in the reproductive tracts. However, the expression and functional significance of CCR6 in testis are still poorly understood, especially in the process of spermatogenesis.

Organophosphate Pesticides Alter Blue Crab (Callinectes sapidus) Behavior in Single and Consecutive Exposures.

Insecticide effects on nontarget organisms most commonly involve measuring mortality after single exposures. We examined sublethal effects of consecutive exposures of malathion, an organophosphate insecticide used for mosquito abatement, on the behavior of blue crabs (Callinectes sapidus). We measured righting time (i.e., time to return upright when placed upside down), eyestalk reflexes, foraging ability, and response to predation risk in three malathion treatments of 50 µg/L that varied in duration: (1) static exposure for 96 h followed by a second exposure for 96 h, (2) static exposure for 96 h followed by transfer to pesticide-free water for 96 h, (3) control without malathion for 192 h. Malathion significantly increased crabs' righting time 45 ± 23%, but righting time was not different from controls after crabs were placed in malathion-free water for 96 h. Normal eyestalk reflexes significantly declined 50 ± 15% in adults and 75 ± 40% in juveniles. Malathion affected foraging ability; blue crabs sought food more frequently, even in the presence of alarm cues from injured crabs but were less able to locate food after malathion exposure. Thus malathion, at environmentally occurring concentrations, interfered with blue crabs' neuromuscular function, inhibited their ability to forage, and caused them to ignore predation risk when foraging. However, two exposures to malathion did not increase mortality nor further impair behavior, and behavior was not different than controls crabs when placed in seawater without insecticides for 96 h, suggesting sublethal impairment from malathion was reversible.

10 NUTRITION TIPS for shift workers.

Bi-stability in cooperative transport by ants in the presence of obstacles.

To cooperatively carry large food items to the nest, individual ants conform their efforts and coordinate their motion. Throughout this expedition, collective motion is driven both by internal interactions between the carrying ants and a response to newly arrived informed ants that orient the cargo towards the nest. During the transport process, the carrying group must overcome obstacles that block their path to the nest. Here, we investigate the dynamics of cooperative transport, when the motion of the ants is frustrated by a linear obstacle that obstructs the motion of the cargo. The obstacle contains a narrow opening that serves as the only available passage to the nest, and through which single ants can pass but not with the cargo. We provide an analytical model for the ant-cargo system in the constrained environment that predicts a bi-stable dynamic behavior between an oscillatory mode of motion along the obstacle and a convergent mode of motion near the opening. Using both experiments and simulations, we show how for small cargo sizes, the system exhibits spontaneous transitions between these two modes of motion due to fluctuations in the applied force on the cargo. The bi-stability provides two possible problem solving strategies for overcoming the obstacle, either by attempting to pass through the opening, or take large excursions to circumvent the obstacle.

Shell colour, temperature, (micro)habitat structure and predator pressure affect the behaviour of Cepaea nemoralis.

Although shell colour polymorphism of the land snail Cepaea nemoralis is a well-known phenomenon, proximate and ultimate factors driving its evolution remain uncertain. Polymorphic species show variation in behavioural responses to selective forces. Therefore, we estimated effects of various environmental factors (temperature, humidity, food availability, (micro)habitat structure and predatory pressure) on behavioural response (frequency of locomotion, climbing and hiding) of C. nemoralis morphs, in experimental and natural conditions. In the experimental part of study, the frequency of locomotion was negatively affected by temperature and the presence of food and positively influenced by the presence of light. Morphs significantly differed in behavioural responses to environmental variability. Pink mid-banded and yellow five-banded morphs climbed less often and hide in shelter more often than yellow and pink unbanded individuals when temperature was low and food was absent. Snails fed most often at moderate temperature compared to low and high temperatures. Field investigations partially confirmed differences among morphs in frequency of climbing, but not in terms of probability of hiding in sheltered sites. In natural colonies, temperature and (micro)habitat structure significantly affected frequency of climbing as well as hiding in shelter. Snails more often hid in sheltered sites where thrushes preyed on Cepaea. Tendency of unbanded morphs to climb trees may have evolved under avian predatory pressure as thrushes forage on a ground. Tendency of banded morphs to hide in sheltered sites may reflect prey preferences for cryptic background. The results implicate that differential behaviour of C. nemoralis morphs compensate for their morphological and physiological limitations of adaptation to habitat.

Lipid accumulation product and visceral adiposity index are associated with dietary patterns in adult Americans.

In the present study, we aimed to examine the association between lipid accumulation product (LAP) and visceral adiposity index (VAI) with dietary pattern (DP) in the US adults. Participants of the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) with data available on dietary intake from 2005 to 2010 were included. DPs were derived by principal component analysis. We applied analysis of covariance and multivariable-adjusted linear regressions accounting for the masked variance and utilizing the proposed weighting methodology. The analytical sample comprised 18,318 participants (mean age = 45.8 years), of whom 48.3% (n = 8607) were men with no age difference by gender (P = .126). The first DP was representative of a diet rich in carbohydrate and sugar, total fat and saturated fatty acid (SFA), high-caloric dieatry pattern; the second DP was highly loaded with vitamins, minerals and fiber (nutrient-dense dietary patten), and the third DP was mainly representative of high dietary polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs) and monounsaturated fatty acids (MUFAs) (healthy fat DP). The adjusted (age, sex, race, physical activity, smoking, C-reactive protein) mean of LAP, VAI and glucose homeostasis indices increased across increasing quarters of the first DP score (all P < .001), while across increasing score of the second DP, the adjusted mean of LAP, VAI, glucose homeostasis indices decreased (all P < .001). Findings were similar in adjusted linear regressions models. Our findings support that affordable measurements, such as VAI and LAP, could be good alternative surrogate markers of visceral fat. They are also significantly related to DPs in same line as with glucose/insulin homeostasis and anthropometric indices.

Feeding habits of the marbled rockfish Sebastiscus marmoratus in the marine ranching off Ma'an Archipelago, China.

Marine ranching is considered as an efficient tool to protect and restore the coastal fishe-ries resource. In order to assess the ecological impacts of the construction of marine ranching on rocky fishes, the feeding habits of Sebastiscus marmoratus collected at the marine ranching area off Ma'an Archipelago were studied using stomach contents analyses and stable isotope analyses. Results showed that S. marmoratus mainly preyed on amphipoda, crabs and cephalopods before the construction of marine ranching. The dominant prey species were Caprella sp., Loligo japonica, Charybdis japonica, Petrolisthes japonicas and Amphiura vadicola. Proportion of crabs in the diet of S. marmoratus increased with the increase of fish size, whereas the proportion of amphipoda decreased. After the construction of marine ranching, S. marmoratus fed mainly on crabs, amphipoda, and fishes. The dominant prey species were C. bimaculata, C. japonica, Caprella sp. and Thryssa kammalensis. Proportions of fishes and crabs in the diet of S. marmoratus increased with the increase of fish size, whereas the proportion of amphipoda increased and then decreased. Results of the stable isotope analyses suggested that S. marmoratus populations in the marine ranching area off Ma'an Archipelago could be divided into three feeding groups based on size variations: <10.0 cm BL, 10.0-14.0 cm BL, and ≥14.0 cm BL. The mean trophic level of S. marmoratus was estimated as 3.40.

Are there differences in the quality of the diet of working and stay-at-home women?

OBJECTIVE To verify whether there is an association between the quality of the diet and the inclusion of women in the labor market and whether the education level would modify this association. We have analyzed the differences according to education level and evaluated whether the insertion or not in the market modifies the association between the quality of the diet and education level. METHODS This is a cross-sectional population-based study that has used data from the Campinas Health Survey (2008 ISACamp). We have evaluated the diet of 464 women, aged 18 to 64 years, using the Brazilian Healthy Eating Index - Revised. We have estimated the means of the total score and index components using simple and multiple linear regression. RESULTS We have observed no difference in the quality of diet of working and stay-at-home women. The analysis stratified by education level showed a lower intake of fruits among stay-at-home women in the segment of lower education level, in relation to working women. Among all women, a lower education level was associated with lower overall quality of the diet, higher intake of sodium, and lower intake of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, milk, and saturated fat. On the other hand, the inclusion in the labor market changed the effect of the education level on the quality of the diet. In the stay-at-home stratum, a low education level was associated with poorer quality of the diet and lower consumption of fruits, dark green and orange vegetables, and whole grains. Among the working women, a low education level was associated with higher intake of sodium and lower intake of vegetables, whole grains, and milk and dairy products. CONCLUSIONS The results show inequities in the profile of food in relation to education level and inclusion in the labor market, which shows the relevance of public policies that increase the access to education and provide guidance on a healthy diet.

Honeybees Prefer to Steer on a Smooth Wall With Tetrapod Gaits.

Insects are well equipped in walking on complex three-dimensional terrain, allowing them to overcome obstacles or catch prey. However, the gait transition for insects steering on a wall remains unexplored. Here, we find that honeybees adopted a tetrapod gait to change direction when climbing a wall. On the contrary to the common tripod gait, honeybees propel their body forward by synchronously stepping with both middle legs and then both front legs. This process ensures the angle of the central axis of the honeybee to be consistent with the crawling direction. Interestingly, when running in an alternating tripod gait, the central axis of honeybee sways around the center of mass under alternating tripod gait to maintain stability. Experimental results show that tripod, tetrapod, and random gaits result in the amazing consensus harmony on the climbing speed and gait stability, whether climbing on a smooth wall or walking on smooth ground.

Identification of animal behavioral strategies by inverse reinforcement learning.

Animals are able to reach a desired state in an environment by controlling various behavioral patterns. Identification of the behavioral strategy used for this control is important for understanding animals' decision-making and is fundamental to dissect information processing done by the nervous system. However, methods for quantifying such behavioral strategies have not been fully established. In this study, we developed an inverse reinforcement-learning (IRL) framework to identify an animal's behavioral strategy from behavioral time-series data. We applied this framework to C. elegans thermotactic behavior; after cultivation at a constant temperature with or without food, fed worms prefer, while starved worms avoid the cultivation temperature on a thermal gradient. Our IRL approach revealed that the fed worms used both the absolute temperature and its temporal derivative and that their behavior involved two strategies: directed migration (DM) and isothermal migration (IM). With DM, worms efficiently reached specific temperatures, which explains their thermotactic behavior when fed. With IM, worms moved along a constant temperature, which reflects isothermal tracking, well-observed in previous studies. In contrast to fed animals, starved worms escaped the cultivation temperature using only the absolute, but not the temporal derivative of temperature. We also investigated the neural basis underlying these strategies, by applying our method to thermosensory neuron-deficient worms. Thus, our IRL-based approach is useful in identifying animal strategies from behavioral time-series data and could be applied to a wide range of behavioral studies, including decision-making, in other organisms.


Banning the use of electric shock collars.

Potential interaction effect on attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder between mother's educational level and preschoolers' dietary pattern.