Download the Free Unbound MEDLINE PubMed App to your smartphone or tablet.
Available for iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, and Android.
Zoo biology [journal]
- Diet and diet-related disorders in captive ruminants at the national zoological gardens of South Africa. [JOURNAL ARTICLE]
- Zoo Biol 2014 Jul 24.
Although diet-related disorders have received much attention in the zoo literature, evidence-based results on relationships between diet and disease are still rare, often due to a lack of quantitative dietary information that can be linked to clinical or necropsy reports. We investigated 24 species of captive ruminants from one facility for which quantitative feeding instructions and necropsy reports between 1991 and 2012 were available. Species were classified as grazer (GR), intermediate feeder (IM), or browser (BR). Feeding type and body mass were significantly correlated to the diet fed, with smaller and BR species receiving higher proportions of non-roughage diet items. There were no significant differences between feeding types in the occurrence of parakeratosis/ruminitis/acidosis (PRA) at necropsy, but in body condition score, with BR more often in poor and less often in excellent body condition at necropsy. While there was no direct correlation between the proportion of non-roughage diet items and PRA across species, there was a significant effect of the proportion of non-roughage diet items on PRA when body mass was also taken into account: larger species, and those that received more non-roughage diet items, had higher prevalence of PRA. The results underline that diet and lack of structured feed items can be associated with the disease complex of acidosis in ruminants, but also suggest that this is modified by factors related to animal size. These latter may include susceptibility to acidosis, or husbandry-related opportunities to monopolize non-roughage feeds and ingest higher proportions than intended by feeding instructions. Zoo Biol. XX:XX-XX, 2014. © 2014 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
- The first case of intersexuality in an African dwarf crocodile (Osteolaemus tetraspis). [JOURNAL ARTICLE]
- Zoo Biol 2014 Jul 12.
To the authors knowledge this is the first case of intersexuality in an African dwarf crocodile (Osteolaemus tetraspis). An adult African dwarf crocodile with a male-typical phenotype lived at Zoo Duisburg in Germany for 10 years. It died in October 2012 despite intensive treatment as a result of terminal septicemia. After a detailed pathological examination the gonads were histologically confirmed as ovotestes. Half of the 22 extant species of crocodilians have been examined for occurrence of temperature dependent sex determination (TSD). In TSD reptiles, masculinizing temperatures yield 100% or a majority of males, whereas feminizing temperatures yield 100% or a majority of females. In the transition range of temperature (TRT), a mix of males, females and sometimes intersexes are obtained. However, the molecular mechanisms behind TSD and an explanation for the occurrence of intersexuality remain elusive. Zoo Biol. 9999:1-4, 2014. © 2014 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
- Commercially available avian and mammalian whole prey diet items targeted for consumption by managed exotic and domestic pet felines: Macronutrient, mineral, and long-chain fatty acid composition. [JOURNAL ARTICLE]
- Zoo Biol 2014 Jul 14.
Whole prey diets encourage species-typical behaviors making them popular in the zoo and home setting for captive exotic and domestic felids, respectively. We evaluated macronutrient, mineral, and long-chain fatty acid composition of 20 whole prey items: mice (1-2, 10-13, 21-25, 30-40, and 150-180 days of age); rats (1-4, 10-13, 21-25, 33-42, and >60 days of age); rabbits (still born, 30-45 days, >65 days with skin, and >65 days of age with skin removed); chicken (1-3 days of age, ground adult); duck (ground adult); and quail (1-3, 21-40, and >60 days of age). Composition of whole prey was highly variable (15-40% DM, 34-75% CP, 10-60% fat, and 8-18% ash). A majority of whole prey samples (15/20) had at least one mineral or fatty acid below AAFCO  or NRC  minimum recommended concentrations for domestic cats (K, Na, Cl, Mg, Cu, Mn, and/or Zn; total fat, linolenic acid, arachidonic acid and/or EPA and DHA). These data identify potential nutrient deficiencies allowing for alterations in dietary formulation prior to long-term feeding. Zoo Biol. XX:XX-XX, 2014. © 2014 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
- Genomic resources and genetic diversity of captive lesser kudu (Tragelaphus imberbis). [JOURNAL ARTICLE]
- Zoo Biol 2014 Jul 14.
The lesser kudu (Tragelaphus imberbis) is a spiral-horned antelope native to northeastern Africa. Individuals kept in zoological gardens are suspected to be highly inbred due to few founder individuals and a small breeding stock. A morphological study suggested two distinct subspecies of the lesser kudu. However, subspecies designation and population structure in zoological gardens has not been analyzed using molecular markers. We analyzed one mitochondrial marker and two nuclear intron loci (total: 2,239 nucleotides) in 52 lesser kudu individuals. Of these, 48 individuals were bred in captivity and sampled from seven different zoos. The four remaining individuals were recently captured in Somalia and are currently held in the Maktoum zoo. Maternally inherited mitochondrial sequences indicate substantial amounts of genetic variation in the zoo populations, while the biparentally inherited intron sequences are, as expected, less variable. The analyzed individuals show 10 mitochondrial haplotypes with a maximal distance of 10 mutational steps. No prominent subspecies structure is detectable in this study. For further studies of the lesser kudu population genetics, we present microsatellite markers from a low-coverage genome survey using 454 sequencing technology. Zoo Biol. XX:XX-XX, 2014. © 2014 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
- Birth of common shovelnose rays (Glaucostegus typus) under captive conditions. [JOURNAL ARTICLE]
- Zoo Biol 2014 Jul 7.
The common shovelnose ray (Glaucostegus typus) is a poorly studied species of the Rhinobatidae family that occurs throughout the Indo-West Pacific. Although common in aquariums throughout the United States, there are currently no records of captive birth events. In 2013, a female common shovelnose ray housed at the Downtown Aquarium in Houston, Texas, USA gave birth to eleven pups. Although all pups were stillborn, this event demonstrates that it is possible to breed common shovelnose rays in a controlled environment. The single female and two male common shovelnose rays at the aquarium are of sexually mature size (between 206 and 240 cm total length, TL), demonstrate mating behaviors, and provide an excellent opportunity to investigate the reproductive biology of this species. Captive environmental conditions of the birth enclosure may be useful in replicating the birthing event in order to develop a breeding program that could potentially relieve collection pressures on wild populations of guitarfish given their vulnerable status. Zoo Biol. 9999: 1-3, 2014. © 2014 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
- Searching for behavioral indicators of welfare in zoos: Uncovering anticipatory behavior. [JOURNAL ARTICLE]
- Zoo Biol 2014 Jul 10.
A current focus of zoo-based research aims to identify indicators of animal welfare. Reliable behavioral indicators of welfare are highly desirable as behavioral observation is non invasive and requires little in the way of specialized equipment and other costly resources-save for observer time. Anticipatory behavior is an indicator of an animal's sensitivity to reward and as such, it is a real-time indicator of animals' own perceptions of their well-being. In fact, anticipatory behavior may generate a positive affective state and thus be at least a brief manifestation of good welfare itself. The husbandry conditions of most captive animals are such that food acquisition and other positive outcomes are highly scheduled and easily signaled. These conditions promote the development of anticipatory behavior, yet little research has either documented or interpreted this behavior in zoo and aquarium animals. This commentary suggests that anticipatory behavior could be a useful tool for assessing welfare and calls upon zoo and aquarium researchers to begin to develop this tool by describing the behavior and the circumstances that lead to its modulation. Zoo Biol. XX:XX-XX, 2014. © 2014 Wiley Periodicals Inc.
- Evaluating the physiological and behavioral response of a male and female gorilla (Gorilla gorilla gorilla) during an introduction. [JOURNAL ARTICLE]
- Zoo Biol 2014 Jul 14.
Prolonged stress responses can lead to infertility and death; therefore monitoring respective indicators like stress-related hormones and behaviors is an important tool in ensuring the health and well-being among zoo-housed animal populations. Changes in social structure, such as the introduction of a new conspecific, can be a source of stress. In April 2010, a sexually mature female western lowland gorilla (Gorilla gorilla gorilla) was brought to Lincoln Park Zoo (LPZ; Chicago, IL) from the Chicago Zoological Park (Brookfield, IL) for a breeding recommendation from the Gorilla Species Survival Plan®. Fecal glucocorticoid metabolites (FGMs) were monitored in two gorillas prior to, during and immediately following the social introduction. Reproduction events, such ovarian cyclicity and pregnancy, were monitored using behavior and fecal progestagen metabolite (FPM; female) and fecal androgen metabolite (FAM; male) analyses. Mean (± standard error) FGM concentrations for the male were elevated (P = 0.002) during the introduction (20.61 ± 0.83 ng/g) compared to the pre- and post-introduction phases (11.31 ± 0.48 ng/g and 12.42 ± 0.65 ng/g, respectively). For the female, mean FGM concentrations were lower (P < 0.001) during the post-introduction (17.91 ± 1.07 ng/g) than during the pre- and introduction phases (30.50 ± 3.42 and 27.38 ± 1.51 ng/g, respectively). The female maintained normal FPM cyclicity throughout the study and became pregnant in the post-introduction phase. These results suggest the importance of both behavioral and physiological monitoring of zoo animals and demonstrate the potential stress that can occur during social introductions. Zoo Biol. XX:XX-XX, 2014. © 2014 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
- Behavioral and physiological responses in felids to exhibit construction. [JOURNAL ARTICLE]
- Zoo Biol 2014 Jul 10.
Despite the growing body of literature examining the welfare of zoo-housed animals, little standardized work has been published on the effect of construction and environmental disruption on the physiology and behavior of affected animals. When Lincoln Park Zoo (Chicago, IL), embarked on a renovation project for its Kovler Lion House, the opportunity was taken to perform a scientific study of behavioral and physiological markers in the resident felids to determine the effect of construction and environmental disruption. Fecal samples and behavioral observations were collected on four felid species (five individuals) before, during, and after the period of construction. As a group, the average z-score for fecal glucocorticoid metabolite concentration increased during construction relative to baseline. Levels remained elevated after construction, but trended toward baseline. All individuals demonstrated a significant decrease in the frequency of pacing and time spent visible during construction. Overall activity levels also showed a significant decrease relative to baseline measures. As zoological institutions continue to recognize the importance of habitat design, construction and renovation become inevitable. It is important to be aware of the potential consequences this can have on animals in the vicinity and to work toward minimizing negative effects. One recommendation is the availability of ample retreat and hiding space for felids during disruption to their environment. Zoo Biol. XX:XX-XX, 2014. © 2014 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
- Ultrasonographic measurement of fetal growth parameters over three successive pregnancies in a captive Malayan tapir (Tapirus indicus). [JOURNAL ARTICLE]
- Zoo Biol 2014 Jul 9.
This study was conducted to establish representative curves that allow evaluation of fetal growth and estimation of gestational age from measurement of fetal structures by ultrasound in Malayan tapirs (Tapirus indicus). Three pregnancies (i.e. 3 fetuses) were examined in one female Malayan tapir. Transabdominal ultrasonographic examination was performed without anesthesia from 79 ± 8 days to 281 ± 48 days (mean ± S.D.) post mating. To assess fetal growth attempts were made to measure biparietal diameter (BPD), head length (HL), thorax diameter A (TDA), thorax height A (THA), thorax diameter B (TDB), thorax height B (THB), abdomen diameter (AD), abdomen height (AH), humerus length (HUL) and Crown rump length (CRL). The value of each parameter as an estimator of gestational age was assessed by ease of observation and the length of time the parameter was measurable throughout gestation. The most precise predictors for gestational age in this study were BPD and CRL (weeks 10-20 of gestation), as well as AD and AH (weeks 14-43 of gestation). The parameters TDB, THB and HUL (weeks 15-41 of gestation) gave almost as good predictions. Fetal viability was assessed by identifying a fetal heartbeat and movement. All pregnancies resulted in normal deliveries and healthy offspring. The ultrasound examination was well tolerated by the female. The gestation lengths (399 ± 3 days) were within reported ranges. The serial transabdominal ultrasound, without the need for anesthesia, was an effective method to evaluate fetal growth, development and well being in a Malayan tapir. Zoo Biol. XX:XX-XX, 2014. © 2014 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
- Proximate composition of milk of the bongo (Tragelaphus eurycerus) in comparison to other African bovids and to hand-rearing formulas. [JOURNAL ARTICLE]
- Zoo Biol 2014 Jun 30.
African bovids represent a highly diverse group with divergent neonatal care strategies. The extent to which their milks reflect this diversity is poorly understood. We analyzed milk of the bongo (Tragelaphus eurycerus) to compare its composition to milks of other African bovids and to evaluate bongo milk replacement formulas. Milk samples from three individuals (0 through 300 days postpartum, n = 28) were assayed for dry matter (total solids), crude fat, crude protein, total sugar, ash, calcium, and phosphorus; gross energy was assayed on a subset of samples and compared to calculated values. Nutrient composition changed very little over the lactation period except for day 0 (colostrum) and the last sample (day 300). Bongo milk (days 6-286) contained (mean ± SEM): 28.1 ± 0.7% dry matter (71.9 ± 0.7% water), 12.3 ± 0.6% fat, 10.6 ± 0.3% crude protein, 3.6 ± 0.1% sugar, 1.05 ± 0.03% ash, 0.26 ± 0.01% calcium, 0.16 ± 0.01% phosphorus, and a GE of 1.88 ± 0.06 kcal/g. The protein content of bongo milk accounts for 33% of energy. High protein energy appears to be typical of Tragelaphines and of African bovids that utilize a "hider" system of postnatal care. The stability of milk composition until day 300 suggests complete weaning may not occur until 9 months rather than at 6 months of age, as commonly assumed. None of the milk replacement formulas previously used for bongos was well matched to bongo milk composition; therefore, a new milk replacement formula is proposed. Zoo Biol. 9999 : 1-9, 2014. © 2014 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.