Butorphanol tartrate acts to decrease sow activity, which could lead to reduced pig crushing. (1/652)

The objective of this study was to determine whether administration of an analgesic to sows immediately after farrowing would allow them to lie more restfully. Sows lying on their pigs, causing them to be "crushed," is a major cause of pig mortality. Most deaths due to crushing occur during the first 3 d postpartum. For modern, lean-type sows, farrowing crates are relatively hard and unforgiving, even though they may be equipped with plastic-coated, expanded metal flooring. Indeed, many sows develop pressure sores on their shoulders, and this may contribute to the sows' discomfort. These sores may cause a sow to change position frequently to alleviate pain, thus increasing its chances of crushing pigs. Sixteen production sows were assigned to either a control group (C, n = 8) with litter size 11.71+/-.78 or an experimental group (B, n = 8) with litter size 11.63+/-1.22. Pigs born to C and B sows weighed 1.60+/-.04 and 1.37+/-.04 kg, respectively. The C sows were given no treatment, whereas the B sows were administered an i.m. injection of butorphanol tartrate at a dose of .15 mg/kg BW every 6 h until 3 d after farrowing. Data were collected on all sows using time-lapse photography (1 frame/.4 s) for a 3-d duration upon the initiation of farrowing. To assess the degree of comfort of each sow, body position changes were recorded when sows switched between lying, sitting, and standing. Data were analyzed by 12-h periods using Wilcoxon-Mann-Whitney equations. During the 72-h period, B sows tended to perform fewer position changes than C sows (P = .10). Specifically, position changes were fewer for B sows from 48 to 72 h postpartum (P<.06). There were no differences in position changes between treatments from 0 to 48 h postpartum (P>.50). There was no difference in the rate of crushing between treatments (C = 5, B = 5). The butorphanol did not seem to affect pig activity or normal behaviors or to create adverse effects, such as diarrhea. Although the sows given butorphanol showed a reduced number of position changes, the dose was intermediate, and a higher dose may have a greater effect. If pig mortality can be decreased, an analgesic protocol that is simple to administer and readily available to producers can be developed. Alternatively, using of more pliable flooring or an increase in sow body fat may allow sows to lie more stationary.  (+info)

The ecotopes and evolution of triatomine bugs (triatominae) and their associated trypanosomes. (2/652)

Triatomine bug species such as Microtriatoma trinidadensis, Eratyrus mucronatus, Belminus herreri, Panstrongylus lignarius, and Triatoma tibiamaculata are exquisitely adapted to specialist niches. This suggests a long evolutionary history, as well as the recent dramatic spread a few eclectic, domiciliated triatomine species. Virtually all species of the genus Rhodnius are primarily associated with palms. The genus Panstrongylus is predominantly associated with burrows and tree cavities and the genus Triatoma with terrestrial rocky habitats or rodent burrows. Two major sub-divisions have been defined within the species Trypanosoma cruzi, as T. cruzi 1 (Z1) and T. cruzi 2 (Z2). The affinities of a third group (Z3) are uncertain. Host and habitat associations lead us to propose that T. cruzi 1 (Z1) has evolved in an arboreal, palm tree habitat with the triatomine tribe Rhodniini, in association with the opossum Didelphis. Similarly we propose that T. cruzi (Z2) and Z3 evolved in a terrestrial habitat in burrows and in rocky locations with the triatomine tribe Triatomini, in association with edentates, and/or possibly ground dwelling marsupials. Both sub-divisions of T. cruzi may have been contemporary in South America up to 65 million years ago. Alternatively, T. cruzi 2 (Z2) may have evolved more recently from T. cruzi 1 (Z1) by host transfers into rodents, edentates, and primates. We have constructed a molecular phylogeny of haematophagous vectors, including triatomine bugs, which suggests that faecal transmission of trypanosomes may be the ancestral route. A molecular clock phylogeny suggests that Rhodnius and Triatoma diverged before the arrival, about 40 million years ago, of bats and rodents into South America.  (+info)

Induction of incubation behaviour in male ring doves (Streptopelia risoria): a behavioural analysis. (3/652)

Male ring doves (Streptopelia risoria) were treated with either progesterone or dexamethasone (a powerful ACTH inhibitor) and tested for incubation behaviour. Progesterone treatments shortened the latency of incubation response by facilitating nest-related pre-incubation behaviour patterns in the nest bowl and components of incubation behaviour. The accumulated rather than the daily dose level of progesterone injections appeared to be the determinant factor in mediating behavioural effects. Dexamethasone treatment at the dosage of 100 mug/day for 7 days inhibited the overall expression of male courtship behaviour. None of the dexamethasone-treated ring doves "sat" in 2 weeks. It is suggested that the hormonal and situational (non-hormonal) cues are not only important contributory factors but also complement one another in the induction of incubation behaviour.  (+info)

Nesting behavior of the swallow-tailed hummingbird, Eupetomena macroura (Trochilidae, Aves). (4/652)

An August or winter nestling of Eupetomena macroura was fed only every 40-50 min for at least 24 days in the nest, with fewer feedings at midday. As in other hummingbirds, it was brooded only the first week or two, and left alone even on cool nights after 12 days, probably due to the small nest size. The female attacked birds of many non-nectarivore species near the nest, in part probably to avoid predation. Botfly parasitism was extremely high, as in some other forest-edge birds.  (+info)

Nesting behavior of the Picazuro pigeon, Columba Picazuro (Columbidae, Aves). (5/652)

The Picazuro Pigeon nests in all months of the year in southeastern Brazil. Nest material is plucked from trees or ground and carried to build a frail and transparent nest of sticks where one egg is laid. Female and male alternate in incubation and brooding and do not soil the nest with feces.  (+info)

Energetic and fitness costs of mismatching resource supply and demand in seasonally breeding birds. (6/652)

By advancing spring leaf flush and ensuing food availability, climatic warming results in a mismatch between the timing of peak food supply and nestling demand, shifting the optimal time for reproduction in birds. Two populations of blue tits (Parus caeruleus) that breed at different dates in similar, but spatially distinct, habitat types in Corsica and southern France provide a unique opportunity to quantify the energetic and fitness consequences when breeding is mismatched with local productivity. As food supply and demand become progressively mismatched, the increased cost of rearing young pushes the metabolic effort of adults beyond their apparent sustainable limit, drastically reducing the persistence of adults in the breeding population. We provide evidence that the economics of parental foraging and limits to sustainable metabolic effort are key selective forces underlying synchronized seasonal breeding and long-term shifts in breeding date in response to climatic change.  (+info)

Fecundity-survival trade-offs and parental risk-taking in birds. (7/652)

Life history theory predicts that parents should value their own survival over that of their offspring in species with a higher probability of adult survival and fewer offspring. We report that Southern Hemisphere birds have higher adult survival and smaller clutch sizes than Northern Hemisphere birds. We subsequently manipulated predation risk to adults versus offspring in 10 species that were paired between North and South America on the basis of phylogeny and ecology. As predicted, southern parents responded more strongly to reduce mortality risk to themselves even at a cost to their offspring, whereas northern parents responded more strongly to reduce risk to their offspring even at greater risk to themselves.  (+info)

Genetic perspectives on the natural history of fish mating systems. (8/652)

Molecular analyses of bird and mammal populations have shown that social mating systems must be distinguished from genetic mating systems. This distinction is important in fishes also, where the potential for extrapair spawning and intraspecific brood parasitism is especially great. We review studies on fishes that have used molecular markers to document biological parentage and genetic mating systems in nature, particularly in species with extended parental care of offspring. On average, nest-guarding adults parented about 70-95% of their custodial offspring, and approximately one-third of the nests were cuckolded to some extent. Furthermore, nearly 10% of the assayed nests contained offspring tended by foster fathers either because of nest takeovers or egg thievery. On average, fish that provide parental care on nests spawned with more mates than did fish with internal fertilization and pregnancy. Overall, genetic markers have both confirmed and quantified the incidence of several reproductive and other social behaviors of fishes, and have thereby enhanced our knowledge of piscine natural history.  (+info)