Hydrodynamic drag in steller sea lions (Eumetopias jubatus).
Drag forces acting on Steller sea lions (Eumetopias jubatus) were investigated from 'deceleration during glide' measurements. A total of 66 glides from six juvenile sea lions yielded a mean drag coefficient (referenced to total wetted surface area) of 0.0056 at a mean Reynolds number of 5.5x10(6). The drag values indicate that the boundary layer is largely turbulent for Steller sea lions swimming at these Reynolds numbers, which are past the point of expected transition from laminar to turbulent flow. The position of maximum thickness (at 34 % of the body length measured from the tip of the nose) was more anterior than for a 'laminar' profile, supporting the idea that there is little laminar flow. The Steller sea lions in our study were characterized by a mean fineness ratio of 5.55. Their streamlined shape helps to delay flow separation, reducing total drag. In addition, turbulent boundary layers are more stable than laminar ones. Thus, separation should occur further back on the animal. Steller sea lions are the largest of the otariids and swam faster than the smaller California sea lions (Zalophus californianus). The mean glide velocity of the individual Steller sea lions ranged from 2.9 to 3.4 m s(-)(1) or 1.2-1.5 body lengths s(-)(1). These length-specific speeds are close to the optimum swim velocity of 1.4 body lengths s(-)(1) based on the minimum cost of transport for California sea lions. (+info)
Malassezia pachydermatis isolated from a South American sea lion (Otaria byronia) with dermatitis.
A fungus was isolated from the skin of an Otaria byronia and from the water of the pool in which the animal was kept. It formed creamy colonies with soft texture on Dixon agar and grew well without supplements of long-chain fatty acids. Cells were ovoid to cylindrical in shape, budded from a broad base, and budded and divided at the same location. Thus, the isolate was identified as M. pachydermatis. We compared this very rare isolate from a marine mammal with four strains of M. pachydermatis using the freeze-etching electron-microscopy technique. The cells showed the same characteristic ring-swellings on the protoplasmic membrane on the neck site between the mother and the daughter parts, and the same accumulation of circumvallate bulgings in a small area near the straight sections of spiral grooves as four reference strains. Thus, in terms of morphology and ultrastructure, the isolate could be regarded as a typical M. pachydermatis. (+info)
Foraging energetics and diving behavior of lactating New Zealand sea lions, Phocarctos hookeri.
The New Zealand sea lion, Phocarctos hookeri, is the deepest- and longest-diving sea lion. We were interested in whether the diving ability of this animal was related to changes in its at-sea and diving metabolic rates. We measured the metabolic rate, water turnover and diving behavior of 12 lactating New Zealand sea lions at Sandy Bay, Enderby Island, Auckland Islands Group, New Zealand (50 degrees 30'S, 166 degrees 17'E), during January and February 1997 when their pups were between 1 and 2 months old. Metabolic rate (rate of CO(2) production) and water turnover were measured using the (18)O doubly-labeled water technique, and diving behavior was measured with time/depth recorders (TDRs). Mean total body water was 66.0+/-1.1 % (mean +/- s.d.) and mean rate of CO(2) production was 0. 835+/-0.114 ml g(-)(1 )h(-)(1), which provides an estimated mass-specific field metabolic rate (FMR) of 5.47+/-0.75 W kg(-)(1). After correction for time on shore, the at-sea FMR was estimated to be 6.65+/-1.09 W kg(-)(1), a value 5.8 times the predicted standard metabolic rate of a terrestrial animal of equal size. The mean maximum dive depth was 353+/-164 m, with a mean diving depth of 124+/-36 m. The mean maximum dive duration was 8.3+/-1.7 min, with an average duration of 3.4+/-0.6 min. The deepest, 550 m, and longest, 11.5 min, dives were made by the largest animal (155 kg). Our results indicate that the deep and long-duration diving ability of New Zealand sea lions is not due to a decreased diving metabolic rate. Individual sea lions that performed deeper dives had lower FMRs, which may result from the use of energetically efficient burst-and-glide locomotion. There are differences in the foraging patterns of deep and shallow divers that may reflect differences in surface swimming, time spent on the surface and/or diet. Our data indicate that, although New Zealand sea lions have increased their O(2) storage capacity, they do not, or cannot, significantly reduce their at-sea metabolic rates and are therefore likely to be operating near their physiological maximum. (+info)
Common metastatic carcinoma of California sea lions (Zalophus californianus): evidence of genital origin and association with novel gammaherpesvirus.
Tissues from 10 adult California sea lions (Zalophus californianus, seven females and three males) that had metastatic carcinoma in sublumbar area lymph nodes were examined histologically. A distinctive epithelial proliferative lesion interpreted as intraepithelial neoplasia was found in genital tracts of all ten animals; in vagina (5/7), cervix (7/7), uterus (3/7), penis (3/3) and prepuce (3/3). Intraepithelial neoplasia closely resembled metastatic carcinomas and was directly contiguous with invasive carcinoma in one animal. Rare eosinophilic intranuclear inclusion bodies were found in penile and preputial intraepithelial neoplasia (one animal), cervical intraepithelial neoplasia (one animal), invasive cervical carcinoma (one animal) and metastatic carcinoma (two animals). Electron microscopic examination of tissues from two sea lions (one with intraepithelial neoplasia and one with metastatic carcinoma) demonstrated viral particles consistent with a herpesvirus. An immunohistochemical stain for the latent membrane protein of Epstein-Barr virus was positive in intraepithelial neoplasia in one sea lion. Herpesvirus DNA sequences were detected by consensus primer polymerase chain reaction (PCR) in metastatic carcinomas from all four sea lions from which unfixed tumor samples were available. Results of sequencing were consistent with a novel gammaherpesvirus in the genus Rhadinovirus. DNA extracted from the four metastatic carcinomas also was tested for papillomavirus by Southern blot and PCR with consensus papillomavirus primers; all samples were negative by both methods. These findings support the genital origin of the sea lion carcinoma and implicate a novel gammaherpesvirus as a possible cause. (+info)
Equivalence classification by California sea lions using class-specific reinforcers.
The ability to group dissimilar stimuli into categories on the basis of common stimulus relations (stimulus equivalence) or common functional relations (functional equivalence) has been convincingly demonstrated in verbally competent subjects. However, there are investigations with verbally limited humans and with nonhuman animals that suggest that the formation and use of classification schemes based on equivalence does not depend on linguistic skills. The present investigation documented the ability of two California sea lions to classify stimuli into functional classes using a simple discrimination reversal procedure. Following the formation of functional classes in this context, the second experiment showed transfer of the relations that emerged between class members to a matching-to-sample procedure. The third experiment demonstrated that the functional classes could be expanded through traditionally defined equivalence relations. In these three experiments, appropriate within-class responding produced class-specific food reinforcers. Experiment 3 addressed the role of these reinforcers in equivalence classification and showed that the class-specific reinforcers were sufficient to relate new stimuli to the functional classes. These findings show that sea lions can form equivalence classes in simple and conditional discrimination procedures, and that class-specific reinforcers can become equivalence class members. (+info)
Standard metabolic rate at the surface and during trained submersions in adult California sea lions (Zalophus californianus).
The metabolic rate (MR) of four adult California sea lions (Zalophus californianus), two males and two females, was quantified during trained submersion and stationing behavior in laboratory tanks. MR was measured, at rest and for single submersions of increasing duration (1-7 min), by measuring oxygen consumption using open-circuit, indirect calorimetry. Standard MR was measured under conditions defined for basal MR and was found to be 1.9 to 3 times that predicted for terrestrial animals of similar size. Submersion MRs were calculated from the post-submersion oxygen debt and declined to as little as 47 % of standard MR on the longest submersions. This hypometabolic response was proportional to the duration of submersion and was greatest for the maximum duration submersions. Short submersions produced MRs equivalent to measured standard MR. These data suggest that although California sea lions maintain an elevated metabolism under standard conditions, they are capable of reducing their metabolism in response to the needs of diving. Such metabolic flexibility enables sea lions to moderate their oxygen use during diving and to extend their aerobic diving capability. (+info)
Immunohistochemical localization of steroidogenic enzymes in the corpus luteum and the placenta of the ribbon seal (Phoca fasciata) and steller sea lion (Eumetopias jubatus).
To study the luteal and placental function of pinnipeds, we analyzed the localization of steroidogenic enzymes (P450scc, 3 beta HSD and P450arom) in the corpus luteum and the placenta of ribbon seals (Phoca fasciata) and Steller sea lions (Eumetopias jubatus) immunohistochemically. P450scc and 3 beta HSD were present in all luteal cells of both species. Almost all of the luteal cells were immunostained for P450arom, while P450scc and 3 beta HSD were negatively immunostained in placentae and P450arom was present in the syncytiotrophoblast of placentae. These findings suggest that 1) corpora lutea of both species synthesize pregnenolone, progesterone and estrogen during the entire pregnancy period, and 2) like other terrestrial carnivores in the suborder Caniformia, placentae of both species do not have the capability for synthesizing progesterone in the latter half of active pregnancy period. (+info)
Scanning electron microscopy study of the tongue and lingual papillae of the California sea lion (Zalophus californianus californianus).
We observed the three-dimensional structures on the external surface and the connective tissue cores (CTCs) of the California sea lion (Zalophus californianus californianus), after exfoliation of the epithelium of the lingual papillae (filiform, fungiform, and vallate papillae), using scanning electron microscopy (SEM) and conventional light microscopy. Macroscopically, the tongue was V-shaped and its apex was rounded. At the posterior area of the tongue, five vallate papillae were arranged in a V shape. In the epithelium, numerous taste buds were distributed on the top of the vallate papillae. On the dorsal surface from the apex to the boundary between the anterior and posterior tongue, filiform papillae were densely distributed. The CTCs of the filiform papillae consisted of a main protrusion (primary core) and many small cores (secondary cores). From the apex to the anterior one-third of the tongue, dome-like fungiform papillae were densely distributed, whereas fewer were located at the posterior two-thirds of the tongue. Several taste buds were found in the epithelium on the fungiform papillae. The size of the filiform papillae gradually increased from the apex to the boundary between the anterior and posterior tongue. At the lingual radix, the conical papillae, which were bigger than any filiform papillae, were densely distributed. The morphological characteristics of the tongue of the California sea lion appear to have been transformed to adapt to an aquatic environment; however, they possess some structures similar to those of land mammals. (+info)