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Behavior, Animal - Top 30 Publications

Impact of a non-restrictive satiating diet on anthropometrics, satiety responsiveness and eating behaviour traits in obese men displaying a high or a low satiety phenotype.

The aim of this study was to evaluate the impact of a non-restrictive satiating diet in men displaying various degrees of satiety efficiency. In all, sixty-nine obese men aged 41·5 (sd 5·7) years were randomly assigned to a control (10-15, 55-60 and 30 % energy as protein, carbohydrate and lipid, respectively; n 34) or satiating (20-25, 45-50 and 30-35 % energy as protein, carbohydrate and lipid, respectively; n 35) diet for 16 weeks, and were classified as having a low (LSP) or high (HSP) satiety phenotype. Both diets were consumed ad libitum. Changes in body weight, BMI, percent fat mass, waist circumference, satiety responsiveness and eating behaviour traits were assessed following the intervention. Dropout rates were higher in the control diet (44·1 %) compared with the satiating diet (8·6 %). Decreases in body weight, BMI and waist circumference were significant in both groups, yet HSP individuals lost more body weight than LSP individuals (P=0·048). Decreases in % fat mass were greater in the satiating diet (LSP: -2·1 (sd 2·1) %; P<0·01 and HSP: -3·0 (sd 2·5) %; P<0·001) compared with the control diet (LSP: -1·1 (sd 2·5) % and HSP: -1·3 (sd 2·6) %) (P=0·034). Satiety responsiveness was markedly improved in the satiating diet, whereas no significant changes were observed in the control group. Changes in dietary restraint (+3·3 (sd 2·9) to +7·2 (sd 5·5)), flexible control (+0·9 (sd 1·4) to +2·3 (sd 2·7)), rigid control (+2·2 (sd 1·5) to +2·5 (sd 2·8)), disinhibition (-2·8 (sd 3·7) to -3·2 (sd 2·6)) and susceptibility to hunger (-2·7 (sd 4·1) to -4·6 (sd 3·9)) were similar between the diets. Compared with the control diet, the satiating diet favoured adherence, decreased % fat mass and improved satiety responsiveness in both HSP and LSP individuals.

Momentary Parental Stress and Food-Related Parenting Practices.

Research suggests that stress and depressed mood are associated with food-related parenting practices (ie, parent feeding practices, types of food served at meals). However, current measures of parental stress, depressed mood, and food-related parenting practices are typically survey-based and assessed as static/unchanging characteristics, failing to account for fluctuations across time and context. Identifying momentary factors that influence parent food-related parenting practices will facilitate the development of effective interventions aimed at promoting healthy food-related parenting practices. In this study, we used ecological momentary assessment to examine the association between momentary factors (eg, stress, depressed mood) occurring early in the day and food-related parenting practices at the evening meal.

Unpredictable chronic mild stress differentially impairs social and contextual discrimination learning in two inbred mouse strains.

Alterations in the social and cognitive domain are considered important indicators for increased disability in many stress-related disorders. Similar impairments have been observed in rodents chronically exposed to stress, mimicking potential endophenotypes of stress-related psychopathologies such as major depression disorder (MDD), anxiety, conduct disorder, and posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Data from numerous studies suggest that deficient plasticity mechanisms in hippocampus (HC) and prefrontal cortex (PFC) might underlie these social and cognitive deficits. Specifically, stress-induced deficiencies in neural plasticity have been associated with a hypodopaminergic state and reduced neural plasticity persistence. Here we assessed the effects of unpredictable chronic mild stress (UCMS) on exploratory, social and cognitive behavior of females of two inbred mouse strains (C57BL/6J and DBA/2J) that differ in their dopaminergic profile. Exposure to chronic stress resulted in impaired circadian rhythmicity, sociability and social cognition in both inbred strains, but differentially affected activity patterns and contextual discrimination performance. These stress-induced behavioral impairments were accompanied by reduced expression levels of brain derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) in the prefrontal cortex. The strain-specific cognitive impairment was coexistent with enhanced plasma corticosterone levels and reduced expression of genes related to dopamine signaling in hippocampus. These results underline the importance of assessing different strains with multiple test batteries to elucidate the neural and genetic basis of social and cognitive impairments related to chronic stress.

Feeding-induced changes in allatostatin-A and short neuropeptide F in the antennal lobes affect odor-mediated host seeking in the yellow fever mosquito, Aedes aegypti.

Aedes aegypti is a model species in which the endogenous regulation of odor-mediated host seeking behavior has received some attention. Sugar feeding and host seeking in female A. aegypti are transiently inhibited following a blood meal. This inhibition is partially mediated by short neuropeptide F (sNPF). The paired antennal lobes (ALs), as the first processing centers for olfactory information, has been shown to play a significant role in the neuropeptidergic regulation of odor-mediated behaviors in insects. The expression of sNPF, along with other peptides in the ALs of A. aegypti, indicate parallel neuromodulatory systems that may affect olfactory processing. To identify neuropeptides involved in regulating the odor-mediated host seeking behavior in A. aegypti, we use a semi-quantitative neuropeptidomic analysis of single ALs to analyze changes in the levels of five individual neuropeptides in response to different feeding regimes. Our results show that the level of sNPF-2, allatostatin-A-5 (AstA-5) and neuropeptide-like precursor-1-5 (NPLP-1-5), but not of tachykinin-related-peptides and SIFamide (SIFa), in the AL of female mosquitoes, changes 24 h and 48 h post-blood meal, and are dependent on prior access to sugar. To assess the role of these neuropeptides in modulating host seeking behavior, when systemically injected individually, sNPF-2 and AstA-5 significantly reduced host seeking behavior. However, only the injection of the binary mixture of the two neuropeptides lead to a host seeking inhibition similar to that observed in blood fed females. We conclude that modulation of the odor mediated host seeking behavior of A. aegypti is likely regulated by a dual neuropeptidergic pathway acting in concert in the ALs.

Evidence of molting and the function of "rock-nosing" behavior in bowhead whales in the eastern Canadian Arctic.

Bowhead whales (Balaena mysticetus) have a nearly circumpolar distribution, and occasionally occupy warmer shallow coastal areas during summertime that may facilitate molting. However, relatively little is known about the occurrence of molting and associated behaviors in bowhead whales. We opportunistically observed whales in Cumberland Sound, Nunavut, Canada with skin irregularities consistent with molting during August 2014, and collected a skin sample from a biopsied whale that revealed loose epidermis and sloughing. During August 2016, we flew a small unmanned aerial system (sUAS) over whales to take video and still images to: 1) determine unique individuals; 2) estimate the proportion of the body of unique individuals that exhibited sloughing skin; 3) determine the presence or absence of superficial lines representative of rock-rubbing behavior; and 4) measure body lengths to infer age-class. The still images revealed that all individuals (n = 81 whales) were sloughing skin, and that nearly 40% of them had mottled skin over more than two-thirds of their bodies. The video images captured bowhead whales rubbing on large rocks in shallow, coastal areas-likely to facilitate molting. Molting and rock rubbing appears to be pervasive during late summer for whales in the eastern Canadian Arctic.

Neanderthal hunting strategies inferred from mortality profiles within the Abric Romaní sequence.

Ungulate mortality profiles are commonly used to study Neanderthal subsistence strategies. To assess the hunting strategies used by Neanderthals, we studied the ages at death of the cervids and equids found in levels E, H, I, Ja, Jb, K, L and M of the Abric Romaní sequence. These levels date between 43.2 ± 1.1 ka BP (14C AMS) and 54.5 ± 1.7 ka BP (U-series). The degree of eruption and development of the teeth and their wear stages were used to determine the ages of these animals at death, and mortality profiles were constructed using these data. The equids display prime dominated profiles in all of the analyzed levels, whereas the cervids display variable profiles. These results suggest that the Neanderthals of Abric Romaní employed both selective and non-selective hunting strategies. The selective strategy focused on the hunting of prime adults and generated prime dominated profiles. On the other hand, non-selective strategies, involved the consumption of animals of variable ages, resulting in catastrophic profiles. It is likely that in the selective hunting events were conducted using selective ambushes in which it was possible to select specific prey animals. On the other hand, encounter hunting or non-selective ambush hunting may have also been used at times, based on the abundances of prey animals and encounter rates. Specific hunting strategies would have been developed accordance with the taxa and the age of the individual to be hunted. The hunting groups most likely employed cooperative hunting techniques, especially in the capture of large animals. Thus, it is not possible to uniquely associate a single mortality profile with the predation tactics of Neanderthals at Abric Romaní.

Effects of tones associated with drilling activities on bowhead whale calling rates.

During summer 2012 Shell performed exploratory drilling at Sivulliq, a lease holding located in the autumn migration corridor of bowhead whales (Balaena mysticetus), northwest of Camden Bay in the Beaufort Sea. The drilling operation involved a number of vessels performing various activities, such as towing the drill rig, anchor handling, and drilling. Acoustic data were collected with six arrays of directional recorders (DASARs) deployed on the seafloor over ~7 weeks in Aug-Oct. Whale calls produced within 2 km of each DASAR were identified and localized using triangulation. A "tone index" was defined to quantify the presence and amplitude of tonal sounds from industrial machinery. The presence of airgun pulses originating from distant seismic operations was also quantified. For each 10-min period at each of the 40 recorders, the number of whale calls localized was matched with the "dose" of industrial sound received, and the relationship between calling rates and industrial sound was modeled using negative binomial regression. The analysis showed that with increasing tone levels, bowhead whale calling rates initially increased, peaked, and then decreased. This dual behavioral response is similar to that described for bowhead whales and airgun pulses in earlier work. Increasing call repetition rates can be a viable strategy for combating decreased detectability of signals arising from moderate increases in background noise. Meanwhile, as noise increases, the benefits of calling may decrease because information transfer becomes increasingly error-prone, and at some point calling may no longer be worth the effort.

Identifying influential neighbors in animal flocking.

Schools of fish and flocks of birds can move together in synchrony and decide on new directions of movement in a seamless way. This is possible because group members constantly share directional information with their neighbors. Although detecting the directionality of other group members is known to be important to maintain cohesion, it is not clear how many neighbors each individual can simultaneously track and pay attention to, and what the spatial distribution of these influential neighbors is. Here, we address these questions on shoals of Hemigrammus rhodostomus, a species of fish exhibiting strong schooling behavior. We adopt a data-driven analysis technique based on the study of short-term directional correlations to identify which neighbors have the strongest influence over the participation of an individual in a collective U-turn event. We find that fish mainly react to one or two neighbors at a time. Moreover, we find no correlation between the distance rank of a neighbor and its likelihood to be influential. We interpret our results in terms of fish allocating sequential and selective attention to their neighbors.

Nut Consumption and Risk of Cardiovascular Disease.

The associations between specific types of nuts, specifically peanuts and walnuts, and cardiovascular disease remain unclear.

Intestinal microbiota profiles associated with low and high residual feed intake in chickens across two geographical locations.

Intestinal microbe-host interactions can affect the feed efficiency (FE) of chickens. As inconsistent findings for FE-associated bacterial taxa were reported across studies, the present objective was to identify whether bacterial profiles and predicted metabolic functions that were associated with residual feed intake (RFI) and performance traits in female and male chickens were consistent across two different geographical locations. At six weeks of life, the microbiota in ileal, cecal and fecal samples of low (n = 34) and high (n = 35) RFI chickens were investigated by sequencing the V3-5 region of the 16S rRNA gene. Location-associated differences in α-diversity and relative abundances of several phyla and genera were detected. RFI-associated bacterial abundances were found at the phylum and genus level, but differed among the three intestinal sites and between males and females. Correlation analysis confirmed that, of the taxonomically classifiable bacteria, Lactobacillus (5% relative abundance) and two Lactobacillus crispatus-OTUs in feces were indicative for high RFI in females (P < 0.05). In males, Ruminococcus in cecal digesta (3.1% relative abundance) and Dorea in feces (<0.1% relative abundance) were best indicative for low RFI, whereas Acinetobacter in feces (<1.5% relative abundance) related to high RFI (P < 0.05). Predicted metabolic functions in feces of males confirmed compositional relationships as functions related to amino acid, fatty acid and vitamin metabolism correlated with low RFI, whereas an increasing abundance of bacterial signaling and interaction (i.e. cellular antigens) genes correlated with high RFI (P < 0.05). In conclusion, RFI-associated bacterial profiles could be identified across different geographical locations. Results indicated that consortia of low-abundance taxa in the ileum, ceca and feces may play a role for FE in chickens, whereby only bacterial FE-associations found in ileal and cecal digesta may serve as useful targets for dietary strategies.

Foxp1 regulation of neonatal vocalizations via cortical development.

The molecular mechanisms driving brain development at risk in autism spectrum disorders (ASDs) remain mostly unknown. Previous studies have implicated the transcription factor FOXP1 in both brain development and ASD pathophysiology. However, the specific molecular pathways both upstream of and downstream from FOXP1 are not fully understood. To elucidate the contribution of FOXP1-mediated signaling to brain development and, in particular, neocortical development, we generated forebrain-specific Foxp1 conditional knockout mice. We show that deletion of Foxp1 in the developing forebrain leads to impairments in neonatal vocalizations as well as neocortical cytoarchitectonic alterations via neuronal positioning and migration. Using a genomics approach, we identified the transcriptional networks regulated by Foxp1 in the developing neocortex and found that such networks are enriched for downstream targets involved in neurogenesis and neuronal migration. We also uncovered mechanistic insight into Foxp1 function by demonstrating that sumoylation of Foxp1 during embryonic brain development is necessary for mediating proper interactions between Foxp1 and the NuRD complex. Furthermore, we demonstrated that sumoylation of Foxp1 affects neuronal differentiation and migration in the developing neocortex. Together, these data provide critical mechanistic insights into the function of FOXP1 in the developing neocortex and may reveal molecular pathways at risk in ASD.

Effect of the Strong4Life School Nutrition Program on Cafeterias and on Manager and Staff Member Knowledge and Practice, Georgia, 2015.

The goal of the Strong4Life School Nutrition Program is to promote healthy eating in school cafeterias in Georgia by training school nutrition managers and staff members to implement changes in the cafeteria to nudge children to make healthier choices. The objective of our study was to evaluate program effect on (1) school nutrition manager and staff member knowledge of evidence-based strategies and their self-efficacy to make positive changes, (2) the school cafeteria environment, and (3) National School Lunch Program participation.

Effects of small-scale clustering of flowers on pollinator foraging behaviour and flower visitation rate.

Plants often grow in clusters of various sizes and have a variable number of flowers per inflorescence. This small-scale spatial clustering affects insect foraging strategies and plant reproductive success. In our study, we aimed to determine how visitation rate and foraging behaviour of pollinators depend on the number of flowers per plant and on the size of clusters of multiple plants using Dracocephalum moldavica (Lamiaceae) as a target species. We measured flower visitation rate by observations of insects visiting single plants and clusters of plants with different numbers of flowers. Detailed data on foraging behaviour within clusters of different sizes were gathered for honeybees, Apis mellifera, the most abundant visitor of Dracocephalum in the experiments. We found that the total number of flower visitors increased with the increasing number of flowers on individual plants and in larger clusters, but less then proportionally. Although individual honeybees visited more flowers in larger clusters, they visited a smaller proportion of flowers, as has been previously observed. Consequently, visitation rate per flower and unit time peaked in clusters with an intermediate number of flowers. These patterns do not conform to expectations based on optimal foraging theory and the ideal free distribution model. We attribute this discrepancy to incomplete information about the distribution of resources. Detailed observations and video recordings of individual honeybees also showed that the number of flowers had no effect on handling time of flowers by honeybees. We evaluated the implications of these patterns for insect foraging biology and plant reproduction.

Psychological stress in aged female mice causes acute hypophagia independent of central serotonin 2C receptor activation.

Sex differences exist in the activation of the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis following exposure to stress, and the stress response is further affected by aging. This study was conducted to elucidate the mechanism of hypophagia in aged female mice exposed to stress. Immediately after a stress load, aged female mice exhibited acute hypophagia and a rise in plasma corticosterone levels. The administration of a serotonin 2C receptor (5-HT2CR) antagonist suppressed plasma corticosterone but did not affect the reduction in food intake. In contrast, an endogenous ghrelin enhancer, rikkunshito (RKT), significantly inhibited the reduction in food intake. An increase in peripheral acylated ghrelin levels during fasting, which occurs in young mice, was not observed in aged female mice. Moreover, in these mice, significantly increased levels of ghrelin and gastric preproghrelin mRNA expression were observed in the fed status. Moreover, plasma ghrelin levels were elevated by RKT and not by the 5-HT2CR antagonist. In female mice, the hypothalamic non-edited (INI) and partially edited mRNA 5-HT2CR isoforms (VNV, VNI, VSV or VSI) decreased with age, while in male mice, the editing isoform was unchanged by aging or stress. Estrogen receptor α (ERα)-positive cell counts in the arcuate nucleus of young male mice exposed to stress and control aged male mice were increased compared with those in young control mice. In aged male mice exposed to stress, the number of ERα-expressing cells in the paraventricular nucleus were significantly increased compared with those in aged control mice; in female mice, there was no increase in the number of ERα-positive cells. Hypophagia in aged female mice exposed to stress may be independent of 5-HT2CR activation. It seems likely that the mechanisms may be caused by sex dependent, differential regulation in 5-HT2CR mRNA expression, peripheral acylated ghrelin secretion and/or hypothalamic ERα expression.

Risk of predation makes foragers less choosy about their food.

Animals foraging in the wild have to balance speed of decision making and accuracy of assessment of a food item's quality. If resource quality is important for maximizing fitness, then the duration of decision making may be in conflict with other crucial and time consuming tasks, such as anti-predator behaviours or competition monitoring. Individuals facing the risk of predation and/or competition should adjust the duration of decision making and, as a consequence, their level of choosiness for resources. When exposed to predation, the forager could either maintain its level of choosiness for food items but accept a reduction in the amount of food items consumed or it could reduce its level of choosiness and accept all prey items encountered. Under competition risk, individuals are expected to reduce their level of choosiness as slow decision making exposes individuals to a higher risk of opportunity costs. To test these predictions, the level of choosiness of a seed-eating carabid beetle, Harpalus affinis, was examined under 4 different experimental conditions of risk: i) predation risk; ii) intraspecific competition; iii) interspecific competition; and, iv) control. All the risks were simulated using chemical cues from individual conspecifics or beetles of different species that are predatory or granivorous. Our results show that when foraging under the risk of predation, H. affinis individuals significantly reduce their level of choosiness for seeds. Reductions in level of choosiness for food items might serve as a sensible strategy to reduce both the total duration of a foraging task and the cognitive load of the food quality assessment. No significant differences were observed when individuals were exposed to competition cues. Competition, (i.e opportunity cost) may not be perceived as risk high enough to induce changes in the level of choosiness. Our results suggest that considering the amount of items consumed, alone, would be a misleading metric when assessing individual response to a risk of predation. Foraging studies should therefore also take in account the decision making process.

The gram-negative sensing receptor PGRP-LC contributes to grooming induction in Drosophila.

Behavioral resistance protects insects from microbial infection. However, signals inducing insect hygiene behavior are still relatively unexplored. Our previous study demonstrated that olfactory signals from microbes enhance insect hygiene behavior, and gustatory signals even induce the behavior. In this paper, we postulated a cross-talk between behavioral resistance and innate immunity. To examine this hypothesis, we employed a previously validated behavioral test to examine the function of taste signals in inducing a grooming reflex in decapitated flies. Microbes, which activate different pattern recognition systems upstream of immune pathways, were applied to see if there was any correlation between microbial perception and grooming reflex. To narrow down candidate elicitors, the grooming induction tests were conducted with highly purified bacterial components. Lastly, the role of DAP-type peptidoglycan in grooming induction was confirmed. Our results demonstrate that cleaning behavior can be triggered through recognition of DAP-type PGN by its receptor PGRP-LC.

Male group size, female distribution and changes in sexual segregation by Roosevelt elk.

Sexual segregation, or the differential use of space by males and females, is hypothesized to be a function of body size dimorphism. Sexual segregation can also manifest at small (social segregation) and large (habitat segregation) spatial scales for a variety of reasons. Furthermore, the connection between small- and large-scale sexual segregation has rarely been addressed. We studied a population of Roosevelt elk (Cervus elaphus roosevelti) across 21 years in north coastal California, USA, to assess small- and large-scale sexual segregation in winter. We hypothesized that male group size would associate with small-scale segregation and that a change in female distribution would associate with large-scale segregation. Variation in forage biomass might also be coupled to small and large-scale sexual segregation. Our findings were consistent with male group size associating with small-scale segregation and a change in female distribution associating with large-scale segregation. Females appeared to avoid large groups comprised of socially dominant males. Males appeared to occupy a habitat vacated by females because of a wider forage niche, greater tolerance to lethal risks, and, perhaps, to reduce encounters with other elk. Sexual segregation at both spatial scales was a poor predictor of forage biomass. Size dimorphism was coupled to change in sexual segregation at small and large spatial scales. Small scale segregation can seemingly manifest when all forage habitat is occupied by females and large scale segregation might happen when some forage habitat is not occupied by females.

Assessment of Feeding Acceptance and Injury of Kerman Pistachios, Pistacia vera, by Brown Marmorated Stink Bug (Hemiptera: Pentatomidae).

In the United States, California (CA) is the primary commercial producer of pistachio nuts, Pistacia vera L. (Anacardiaceae). The brown marmorated stink bug (BMSB), Halyomorpha halys (Stål) (Hemiptera: Pentatomidae), an invasive and polyphagous insect pest from Asia, has established in urban areas in several pistachio-growing counties in CA. Breeding BMSB populations have not been detected in commercial pistachio acreage. However, the detection of BMSB in Kern and Fresno counties, major Kerman pistachio producing areas in CA, underscored key knowledge gaps on BMSB ecology in CA and motivated investigations on the susceptibility of pistachio nuts to BMSB feeding. Laboratory feeding trials conducted in quarantine under permit indicated that adult BMSB stylets can penetrate developing pistachio shells and associated feeding was correlated with kernel necrosis for nuts collected mid to late season (June to August 2016). Feeding damage estimates indicated that higher levels of kernel injury were associated with female BMSB when compared to feeding by male BMSB. These results suggest that there is probable risk of feeding damage to field grown pistachios from BMSB. The implications of this study for BMSB pest management in the CA pistachio system and future research directions are discussed.

Seasonal Terpene Variation in Needles of Pinus radiata (Pinales: Pinaceae) Trees Attacked by Tomicus piniperda (Coleoptera: Scolytinae) and the Effect of Limonene on Beetle Aggregation.

Concentrations of four monoterpenes were determined in needles of Pinus radiata (D.Don) (Pinales: Pinaceae) trees that were attacked or nonattacked by Tomicus piniperda (L.) (Coleoptera: Scolytinae). Compounds were identified and quantified by gas chromatography-mass spectrometry. The mean ambient temperature was obtained using climate-recording data loggers. The effect of limonene on field aggregation was also evaluated at three limonene release rates using Lindgren attractant-baited traps and trap logs. Attacked trees produced less α-pinene in March, July, and November than nonattacked trees, less β-pinene in July and November, and less limonene from May to November. Limonene reduced the attraction of T. piniperda to attractant-baited traps and trap logs. Results were linked to better responses to high temperatures, with respect to terpene contents, by the nonattacked trees after the spring attack.

The keybox: Shape-frame fitting during tool use in Goffin's cockatoos (Cacatua goffiniana).

The ability to move an object in alignment to a surface develops early in human ontogeny. However, aligning not just your own body but also the object itself in relation to a surface with a specific shape requires using landmarks rather than the own body as a frame of reference for orientation. The ability to do so is considered important in the development of tool use behaviour in human and non-human animals. Aside from humans, with the exception of a single study on habitually tool using primates, shape-frame matching abilities remain largely unstudied. The Goffin's cockatoo is a generalist parrot, and not a specialised tool user but has shown the capacity to innovate and use different types of tools under controlled settings. We tested these parrots in a tool selection and tool use task featuring objects and their corresponding substrate grooves in a number of shapes with different levels of symmetry. Subjects had to choose the correct 'key' to insert into a box, and align its shape to fit into the corresponding 'keyhole' in the box. The parrots were able to select the correct key above chance level from early on in the experiment. Despite their lack of hands, they required fewer placement attempts than primates to insert simple object shapes into corresponding grooves. For complex shapes, they reduced their insertion effort by rotating shapes in their beak while avoiding as many protrusions as possible. Unrewarded play experience with similar object shapes was provided to some of the subjects previously to testing, but did not seem to have an effect on the number of correct choices or on insertion effort.

Compensatory selection for roads over natural linear features by wolves in northern Ontario: Implications for caribou conservation.

Woodland caribou (Rangifer tarandus caribou) in Ontario are a threatened species that have experienced a substantial retraction of their historic range. Part of their decline has been attributed to increasing densities of anthropogenic linear features such as trails, roads, railways, and hydro lines. These features have been shown to increase the search efficiency and kill rate of wolves. However, it is unclear whether selection for anthropogenic linear features is additive or compensatory to selection for natural (water) linear features which may also be used for travel. We studied the selection of water and anthropogenic linear features by 52 resident wolves (Canis lupus x lycaon) over four years across three study areas in northern Ontario that varied in degrees of forestry activity and human disturbance. We used Euclidean distance-based resource selection functions (mixed-effects logistic regression) at the seasonal range scale with random coefficients for distance to water linear features, primary/secondary roads/railways, and hydro lines, and tertiary roads to estimate the strength of selection for each linear feature and for several habitat types, while accounting for availability of each feature. Next, we investigated the trade-off between selection for anthropogenic and water linear features. Wolves selected both anthropogenic and water linear features; selection for anthropogenic features was stronger than for water during the rendezvous season. Selection for anthropogenic linear features increased with increasing density of these features on the landscape, while selection for natural linear features declined, indicating compensatory selection of anthropogenic linear features. These results have implications for woodland caribou conservation. Prey encounter rates between wolves and caribou seem to be strongly influenced by increasing linear feature densities. This behavioral mechanism-a compensatory functional response to anthropogenic linear feature density resulting in decreased use of natural travel corridors-has negative consequences for the viability of woodland caribou.

Developmental timing differences underlie armor loss across threespine stickleback populations.

Comparing ontogenetic patterns within a well-described evolutionary context aids in inferring mechanisms of change, including heterochronies or deletion of developmental pathways. Because selection acts on phenotypes throughout ontogeny, any within-taxon developmental variation has implications for evolvability. We compare ontogenetic order and timing of locomotion and defensive traits in three populations of threespine stickleback that have evolutionarily divergent adult forms. This analysis adds to the growing understanding of developmental genetic mechanisms of adaptive change in this evolutionary model species by delineating when chondrogenesis and osteogenesis in two derived populations begin to deviate from the developmental pattern in their immediate ancestors. We found that differences in adult defensive morphologies arise through abolished or delayed initiation of these traits rather than via an overall heterochronic shift, that intra-population ontogenetic variation is increased for some derived traits, and that altered armor developmental timing differentiates the derived populations from each other despite parallels in adult lateral plate armor phenotypes. We found that changes in ossified elements of the pelvic armor are linked to delayed and incomplete development of an early-forming pelvic cartilage, and that this disruption likely presages the variable pelvic vestiges documented in many derived populations.

Olfactory signaling of aggressive intent in male-male contests of cave crickets (Troglophilus neglectus; Orthoptera: Rhaphidophoridae).

In animal contests, communicating aggressive motivation is most often mediated by visual or acoustic signals, while chemical signals are not expected to serve such a function since they are less able to be modulated by the sender during the changing behavioral context. We describe a rare example of ephemeral olfactory signals in terrestrial animals, signals that are emitted via protrusive scent glands in male cave crickets Troglophilus neglectus (Orthoptera, Rhaphidophoridae) to reflect the state of the signaler's aggression. We correlate the intensity of behaviorally expressed aggression of the individuals in dyadic contests with the frequency and extent of their gland tissue protrusion, the latter serving as an indication of the amount of released odor. We detected large amounts of odor release during brief gland protrusions, and the absence of its release during gland retraction. Males protruded the glands during and after encountering a rival, with the degree of protrusion increasing with the intensity of the signalers' aggression. During the encounters, the degree of gland protrusion increased most strongly with the occurrence of the elevated body posture, directly preceding the attack. This degree was significantly higher in encounter winners than in losers displaying such posture, suggesting the highly important role of the released odor for contest resolution. After the encounters, glands were protruded almost exclusively by winners, apparently announcing victory. We tested for the function of the olfactory signals also directly, by preventing gland tissue protrusion in symmetric and asymmetric treatments of the contestants. Treating only the dominant individuals decreased the percentage of encounters they won by over 60%, while treating both contestants elicited a significant increase in the frequency and duration of fights. During contests, the olfactory signals of T. neglectus apparently function as a highly effective threat, which prevents maximal contest escalation and decreases the conflict-related costs.

Environment-dependence of behavioural consistency in adult male European green lizards (Lacerta viridis).

Understanding the background mechanisms affecting the emergence and maintenance of consistent between-individual variation within population in single (animal personality) or across multiple (behavioural syndrome) behaviours has key importance. State-dependence theory suggests that behaviour is 'anchored' to individual state (e.g. body condition, gender, age) and behavioural consistency emerges through behavioural-state feedbacks. A number of relevant state variables are labile (e.g. body condition, physiological performance) and expected to be affected by short-term environmental change. Yet, whether short-term environmental shifts affect behavioural consistency during adulthood remains questionable. Here, by employing a full-factorial laboratory experiment, we explored if quantity of food (low vs. high) and time available for thermoregulation (3h vs. 10h per day) had an effect on activity and risk-taking of reproductive adult male European green lizards (Lacerta viridis). We focussed on different components of behavioural variation: (i) strength of behavioural consistency (repeatability for animal personality; between-individual correlation for behavioural syndrome), (ii) behavioural type (individual mean behaviour) and (iii) behavioural predictability (within-individual behavioural variation). Activity was repeatable in all treatments. Risk-taking was repeatable only in the low basking treatments. We found significant between-individual correlation only in the low food × long basking time group. The treatments did not affect behavioural type, but affected behavioural predictability. Activity predictability was higher in the short basking treatment, where it also decreased with size (≈ age). Risk-taking predictability in the short basking treatment increased with size under food limitation, but decreased when food supply was high. We conclude that short-term environmental change can alter various components of behavioural consistency. The effect could be detected in the presence/absence patterns of animal personality and behavioural syndrome and the level of individual behavioural predictability, but not in behavioural type.

Optogenetic Activation of the fruitless-Labeled Circuitry in Drosophila subobscura Males Induces Mating Motor Acts.

It remains an enigma how the nervous system of different animal species produces different behaviors. We studied the neural circuitry for mating behavior in Drosophila subobscura, a species that displays unique courtship actions not shared by other members of the genera including the genetic model D. melanogaster, in which the core courtship circuitry has been identified. We disrupted the D. subobscura fruitless (fru) gene, a master regulator for the courtship circuitry formation in D. melanogaster, resulting in complete loss of mating behavior. We also generated frusoChrimV , which expresses the optogenetic activator Chrimson fused with a fluorescent marker under the native fru promoter. The fru-labeled circuitry in D. subobscura visualized by frusoChrimV revealed differences between females and males, optogenetic activation of which in males induced mating behavior including attempted copulation. These findings provide a substrate for neurogenetic dissection and manipulation of behavior in non-model animals, and will help to elucidate the neural basis for behavioral diversification.SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENT How did behavioral specificity arise during evolution? Here we attempted to address this question by comparing the parallel genetically definable neural circuits controlling the courtship behavior of Drosophila melanogaster, a genetic model, and its relative, D. subobscura, which exhibits a courtship behavioral pattern unique to it, including nuptial gift transfer. We found that the subobscura fruitless circuit, which is required for male courtship behavior, was slightly but clearly different from its melanogaster counterpart, and that optogenetic activation of this circuit induced subobscura-specific behavior, i.e., regurgitating crop contents, a key element of transfer of nuptial gift. Our study will pave the way for determining how and which distinctive cellular elements within the fruitless circuit determine the species-specific differences in courtship behavior.

Post-conflict opponent affiliation reduces victim re-aggression in a family group of captive arctic wolves (Canis lupus arctos).

Post-conflict affiliative interactions have been widely investigated in primates but not extensively in other species. Using the Post Conflict-Matched Control (PC-MC) comparison method, this study investigated the patterns of post-conflict opponent affiliation (POA) of a captive family group of 19 arctic wolves (Canis lupus arctos), investigating the correlation with various factors. We found that POAs occurred mainly in the non-feeding context and more often when the victim was dominant and the aggressor subordinate. Furthermore, POAs were more likely to have been initiated by the victim than the aggressor. Victims' stress related behaviours occurred more in PC than MC periods, and more after high vs. low intensity aggressions but they were not more likely to occur after conflicts between wolves with a stronger social bond and POAs did not reduce their rate of occurrence. Our results showed that re-aggression was twice less frequent when a friendly interaction occurred between the aggressor and the victim, and consistent with this, victims engaged in POAs more often than the aggressor. Overall, our results support the hypothesis that POAs in wolves may have been selected for as a mechanism to avoid conflict escalation, which could lead to social disruption and hence jeopardize cooperative activities. The high relatedness among individuals in the pack and the greater dependence of all members on cooperation in breeding and hunting may reduce the importance of 'relationship quality' as a mediating factor of POAs, although dominance relationships, which are directly linked to the risks of further conflicts, do play an important role.

Behavioral and pathophysiological outcomes associated with caffeine consumption and repetitive mild traumatic brain injury (RmTBI) in adolescent rats.

Given that caffeine consumption is exponentially rising in adolescents and they are at increased risk for repetitive mild traumatic brain injury (RmTBI), we sought to examine the pathophysiological outcomes associated with early life caffeine consumption and RmTBI. Adolescent male and female Sprague Dawley rats received either caffeine in the drinking water or normal water and were then randomly assigned to 3 mild injuries using our lateral impact device or 3 sham procedures. Following injury induction, behavioral outcomes were measured with a test battery designed to examine symptoms consistent with clinical manifestation of PCS (balance and motor coordination, anxiety, short-term working memory, and depressive-like behaviours). In addition, pathophysiological outcomes were examined with histological measures of volume and cellular proliferation in the dentate gyrus, as well as microglia activation in the ventromedial hypothalamus. Finally, modifications to expression of 12 genes (Adora2a, App, Aqp4, Bdnf, Bmal1, Clock, Cry, Gfap, Orx1, Orx2, Per, Tau), in the prefrontal cortex, hippocampus, and/or the hypothalamus were assessed. We found that chronic caffeine consumption in adolescence altered normal developmental trajectories, as well as recovery from RmTBI. Of particular importance, many of the outcomes exhibited sex-dependent responses whereby the sex of the animal modified response to caffeine, RmTBI, and the combination of the two. These results suggest that caffeine consumption in adolescents at high risk for RmTBI should be monitored.

Direct and indirect effects of different types of microplastics on freshwater prey (Corbicula fluminea) and their predator (Acipenser transmontanus).

We examined whether environmentally relevant concentrations of different types of microplastics, with or without PCBs, directly affect freshwater prey and indirectly affect their predators. Asian clams (Corbicula fluminea) were exposed to environmentally relevant concentrations of polyethylene terephthalate (PET), polyethylene, polyvinylchloride (PVC) or polystyrene with and without polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) for 28 days. Their predators, white sturgeon (Acipenser transmontanus), were exposed to clams from each treatment for 28 days. In both species, we examined bioaccumulation of PCBs and effects (i.e., immunohistochemistry, histology, behavior, condition, mortality) across several levels of biological organization. PCBs were not detected in prey or predator, and thus differences in bioaccumulation of PCBs among polymers and biomagnification in predators could not be measured. One of the main objectives of this study was to test the hypothesis that bioaccumulation of PCBs would differ among polymer types. Because we could not answer this question experimentally, a bioaccumulation model was run and predicted that concentrations of PCBs in clams exposed to polyethylene and polystyrene would be greater than PET and PVC. Observed effects, although subtle, seemed to be due to microplastics rather than PCBs alone. For example, histopathology showed tubular dilation in clams exposed to microplastics with PCBs, with only mild effects in clams exposed to PCBs alone.

Distribution and identification of sand flies naturally infected with Leishmania from the Southeastern Peruvian Amazon.

Cutaneous leishmaniasis (CL) is an important health problem in the New World affecting civilian and military populations that are frequently exposed in endemic settings. The Peruvian region of Madre de Dios located near the border with Brazil is one of the most endemic CL regions in South America with more than 4,451 reported cases between 2010 and 2015 according to the Peruvian epidemiology directorate. However, little is known regarding the diversity and distribution of sand fly vectors in this region. In this study, we aimed to characterize the sand fly fauna in this endemic setting and identify sand fly species naturally infected with Leishmania possibly involved in pathogen transmission.

Neurogenesis in the olfactory bulb induced by paced mating in the female rat is opioid dependent.

The possibility to control the rate of sexual stimulation that the female rat receives during a mating encounter (pacing) increases the number of newborn neurons that reach the granular layer of the accessory olfactory bulb (AOB). If females mate repeatedly, the increase in the number of neurons is observed in other regions of the AOB and in the main olfactory bulb (MOB). It has also been shown that paced mating induces a reward state mediated by opioids. There is also evidence that opioids modulate neurogenesis. In the present study, we evaluated whether the opioid receptor antagonist naloxone (NX) could reduce the increase in neurogenesis in the AOB induced by paced mating. Ovariectomized female rats were randomly divided in 5 different groups: 1) Control (not mated) treated with saline, 2) control (not mated) treated with naloxone, 3) females that mated without controlling the sexual interaction (no-pacing), 4) females injected with saline before pacing the sexual interaction and 5) females injected with NX before a paced mating session. We found, as previously described, that paced mating induced a higher number of new cells in the granular layer of the AOB. The administration of NX before paced mating, blocked the increase in the number of newborn cells and prevented these cells from differentiating into neurons. These data suggest that opioid peptides play a fundamental role in the neurogenesis induced by paced mating in female rats.