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Animals, Volume 3, Issue 1 (March 2013), Pages 1-299

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Research

Jump to: Review

Open AccessArticle Attitudes of College Undergraduates Towards Coyotes (Canis latrans) in an Urban Landscape: Management and Public Outreach Implications
Animals 2013, 3(1), 1-18; doi:10.3390/ani3010001
Received: 19 November 2012 / Revised: 1 January 2013 / Accepted: 4 January 2013 / Published: 10 January 2013
Cited by 7 | PDF Full-text (106 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Understanding and assessing the public’s attitudes towards urban wildlife is an important step towards creating management plans, increasing knowledge and awareness, and fostering coexistence between people and wildlife. We conducted a survey of undergraduate college students in the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area—where coyotes
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Understanding and assessing the public’s attitudes towards urban wildlife is an important step towards creating management plans, increasing knowledge and awareness, and fostering coexistence between people and wildlife. We conducted a survey of undergraduate college students in the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area—where coyotes are recent arrivals—to determine existing attitudes towards coyotes and coyote management methods. Amongst other findings, we found that the more a person feared coyotes, the less likely they were to support their presence (p < 0.001), and the less likely they were to believe that pet owners should be directly responsible for protecting their pets (p < 0.001). Respondents demonstrated major gaps in their understanding of basic coyote biology and ecology. Respondents broke wildlife management practices into two categories: those that involved an action on coyotes (both lethal or non-lethal; referred to as “Coyote”), and those that restricted human behavior (referred to as “Human”); the “Human” methods were preferred. We found important differences between key demographic groups in terms of attitudes and management preferences. Our study suggests that wildlife professionals have unique opportunities in urban areas to prevent and reduce conflict before it escalates, in part by targeting tailored outreach messages to various demographic and social groups. Full article
Open AccessArticle Possible Electromagnetic Effects on Abnormal Animal Behavior Before an Earthquake
Animals 2013, 3(1), 19-32; doi:10.3390/ani3010019
Received: 4 December 2012 / Revised: 24 December 2012 / Accepted: 4 January 2013 / Published: 10 January 2013
Cited by 4 | PDF Full-text (523 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The former statistical properties summarized by Rikitake (1998) on unusual animal behavior before an earthquake (EQ) have first been presented by using two parameters (epicentral distance (D) of an anomaly and its precursor (or lead) time (T)). Three plots are utilized to characterize
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The former statistical properties summarized by Rikitake (1998) on unusual animal behavior before an earthquake (EQ) have first been presented by using two parameters (epicentral distance (D) of an anomaly and its precursor (or lead) time (T)). Three plots are utilized to characterize the unusual animal behavior; (i) EQ magnitude (M) versus D, (ii) log T versus M, and (iii) occurrence histogram of log T. These plots are compared with the corresponding plots for different seismo-electromagnetic effects (radio emissions in different frequency ranges, seismo-atmospheric and -ionospheric perturbations) extensively obtained during the last 15–20 years. From the results of comparisons in terms of three plots, it is likely that lower frequency (ULF (ultra-low-frequency, f ≤ 1 Hz) and ELF (extremely-low-frequency, f ≤ a few hundreds Hz)) electromagnetic emissions exhibit a very similar temporal evolution with that of abnormal animal behavior. It is also suggested that a quantity of field intensity multiplied by the persistent time (or duration) of noise would play the primary role in abnormal animal behavior before an EQ. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biological Anomalies Prior to Earthquakes)
Open AccessArticle Variation in Protein and Calorie Consumption Following Protein Malnutrition in Rattus norvegicus
Animals 2013, 3(1), 33-44; doi:10.3390/ani3010033
Received: 21 December 2012 / Revised: 19 January 2013 / Accepted: 21 January 2013 / Published: 24 January 2013
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Abstract
Catch-up growth rates, following protein malnutrition, vary with timing and duration of insult, despite unlimited access to calories. Understanding changing patterns of post-insult consumption, relative rehabilitation timing, can provide insight into the mechanisms driving those differences. We hypothesize that higher catch-up growth rates
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Catch-up growth rates, following protein malnutrition, vary with timing and duration of insult, despite unlimited access to calories. Understanding changing patterns of post-insult consumption, relative rehabilitation timing, can provide insight into the mechanisms driving those differences. We hypothesize that higher catch-up growth rates will be correlated with increased protein consumption, while calorie consumption could remain stable. As catch-up growth rates decrease with age/malnutrition duration, we predict a dose effect in protein consumption with rehabilitation timing. We measured total and protein consumption, body mass, and long bone length, following an increase of dietary protein at 40, 60 and 90 days, with two control groups (chronic reduced protein or standard protein) for 150+ days. Immediately following rehabilitation, rats’ food consumption decreased significantly, implying that elevated protein intake is sufficient to fuel catch-up growth rates that eventually result in body weights and long bone lengths greater or equal to final measures of chronically fed standard (CT) animals. The duration of protein restriction affected consumption: rats rehabilitated at younger ages had more drastic alterations in consumption of both calories and protein. While rehabilitated animals did compensate with greater protein consumption, variable responses in different ages and sex highlight the plasticity of growth and how nutrition affects body form. Full article
Open AccessArticle Modelling Niche Differentiation of Co-Existing, Elusive and Morphologically Similar Species: A Case Study of Four Macaque Species in Nakai-Nam Theun National Protected Area, Laos
Animals 2013, 3(1), 45-62; doi:10.3390/ani3010045
Received: 8 January 2013 / Revised: 16 January 2013 / Accepted: 25 January 2013 / Published: 30 January 2013
Cited by 2 | PDF Full-text (327 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Species misidentification often occurs when dealing with co-existing and morphologically similar species such as macaques, making the study of their ecology challenging. To overcome this issue, we use reliable occurrence data from camera-trap images and transect survey data to model their respective ecological
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Species misidentification often occurs when dealing with co-existing and morphologically similar species such as macaques, making the study of their ecology challenging. To overcome this issue, we use reliable occurrence data from camera-trap images and transect survey data to model their respective ecological niche and potential distribution locally in Nakai-Nam Theun National Protected Area (NNT NPA), central-Eastern Laos. We investigate niche differentiation of morphologically similar species using four sympatric macaque species in NNT NPA, as our model species: rhesus Macaca mulatta (Taxonomic Serial Number, TSN 180099), Northern pig-tailed M. leonina (TSN not listed); Assamese M. assamensis (TSN 573018) and stump-tailed M. arctoides (TSN 573017). We examine the implications for their conservation. We obtained occurrence data of macaque species from systematic 2006–2011 camera-trapping surveys and 2011–2012 transect surveys and model their niche and potential distribution with MaxEnt software using 25 environmental and topographic variables. The respective suitable habitat predicted for each species reveals niche segregation between the four species with a gradual geographical distribution following an environmental gradient within the study area. Camera-trapping positioned at many locations can increase elusive-species records with a relatively reduced and more systematic sampling effort and provide reliable species occurrence data. These can be used for environmental niche modelling to study niche segregation of morphologically similar species in areas where their distribution remains uncertain. Examining unresolved species' niches and potential distributions can have crucial implications for future research and species' management and conservation even in the most remote regions and for the least-known species. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Conservation of Endangered Animals and Protection of Their Habitats)
Open AccessArticle Early Results of Three-Year Monitoring of Red Wood Ants’ Behavioral Changes and Their Possible Correlation with Earthquake Events
Animals 2013, 3(1), 63-84; doi:10.3390/ani3010063
Received: 14 December 2012 / Revised: 25 January 2013 / Accepted: 28 January 2013 / Published: 4 February 2013
Cited by 2 | PDF Full-text (2308 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Short-term earthquake predictions with an advance warning of several hours or days are currently not possible due to both incomplete understanding of the complex tectonic processes and inadequate observations. Abnormal animal behaviors before earthquakes have been reported previously, but create problems in monitoring
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Short-term earthquake predictions with an advance warning of several hours or days are currently not possible due to both incomplete understanding of the complex tectonic processes and inadequate observations. Abnormal animal behaviors before earthquakes have been reported previously, but create problems in monitoring and reliability. The situation is different with red wood ants (RWA; Formica rufa-group (Hymenoptera: Formicidae)). They have stationary mounds on tectonically active, gas-bearing fault systems. These faults may be potential earthquake areas. For three years (2009–2012), two red wood ant mounds (Formica rufa-group), located at the seismically active Neuwied Basin (Eifel, Germany), have been monitored 24/7 by high-resolution cameras with both a color and an infrared sensor. Early results show that ants have a well-identifiable standard daily routine. Correlation with local seismic events suggests changes in the ants’ behavior hours before the earthquake: the nocturnal rest phase and daily activity are suppressed, and standard daily routine does not resume until the next day. At present, an automated image evaluation routine is being applied to the more than 45,000 hours of video streams. Based on this automated approach, a statistical analysis of the ants’ behavior will be carried out. In addition, other parameters (climate, geotectonic and biological), which may influence behavior, will be included in the analysis. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biological Anomalies Prior to Earthquakes)
Open AccessArticle Prevalence and Risk Factors Associated with Musculoskeletal Discomfort in Spay and Neuter Veterinarians
Animals 2013, 3(1), 85-108; doi:10.3390/ani3010085
Received: 10 December 2012 / Revised: 25 January 2013 / Accepted: 30 January 2013 / Published: 4 February 2013
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (323 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
A cross-sectional study to investigate musculoskeletal discomfort (MSD) surveyed 219 veterinarians who currently or previously perform spays and neuters at least 4 hours per week. Participants were asked about the presence and severity of hand and body MSD during the previous month, whether
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A cross-sectional study to investigate musculoskeletal discomfort (MSD) surveyed 219 veterinarians who currently or previously perform spays and neuters at least 4 hours per week. Participants were asked about the presence and severity of hand and body MSD during the previous month, whether MSD interfered with work or daily activities, whether they attributed their MSD to their spay/neuter work, and whether MSD had ever necessitated absence from work. The period prevalence of MSD was 99.1%, with 76.7% experiencing hand or wrist pain and 98.2% experiencing body pain. Hand discomfort was most commonly reported in the right thumb and/or thumb base (49.8%) and the right wrist (37.9%). Body discomfort was most commonly reported in the lower back (76.7%), shoulders (72.6%), and neck (71.7%). Increasing career length, increasing weekly hours in surgery and decreasing job satisfaction were the work-related factors with the greatest relative contribution accounting for variation in hand pain severity and total pain. Although 94.4% of respondents felt that posture during surgery is important, only 30.6% had received any instruction in posture and positioning for surgery. Future interventions should aim to optimize surgical efficiency, surgeon work schedules, and working environment. Analysis and intervention studies are required to determine further causes of MSD in these veterinarians and develop interventions to prevent MSD. Full article
Open AccessArticle The “Super Chimpanzee”: The Ecological Dimensions of Rehabilitation of Orphan Chimpanzees in Guinea, West Africa
Animals 2013, 3(1), 109-126; doi:10.3390/ani3010109
Received: 8 October 2012 / Revised: 30 January 2013 / Accepted: 4 February 2013 / Published: 6 February 2013
Cited by 4 | PDF Full-text (222 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
To date few studies, especially among non-human primates, have evaluated or monitored rehabilitation effectiveness and identified key species-specific behavioral indicators for release success. This four-months study aimed to identify behavioral indicators of rehabilitation success among ten infant and juvenile orphaned chimpanzees cared for
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To date few studies, especially among non-human primates, have evaluated or monitored rehabilitation effectiveness and identified key species-specific behavioral indicators for release success. This four-months study aimed to identify behavioral indicators of rehabilitation success among ten infant and juvenile orphaned chimpanzees cared for in peer groups at the Centre for Conservation of Chimpanzees (CCC), Guinea, West Africa. Behavioral data focused on foraging skills and activity budget. During bush-outings, rehabilitants spent on average nearly a quarter of their activity budget foraging, resting or traveling, respectively. Neither age, sex, the level of abnormal behaviors demonstrated upon arrival nor human contact during bush-outings predicted individual dietary knowledge. However, individuals who spent more time arboreal demonstrated a greater dietary breadth than conspecifics who dwelled more terrestrially. Although our data failed to demonstrate a role of conspecific observation in dietary acquisition, we propose that the mingling of individuals from different geographical origins may act as a catalyst for acquiring new dietary knowledge, promoted by ecological opportunities offered during bush-outings. This “Super Chimpanzee” theory opens up new questions about cultural transmission and socially-biased learning among our closest living relatives and provides a novel outlook on rehabilitation in chimpanzees. Full article
Open AccessArticle Methodological Considerations in Designing and Evaluating Animal-Assisted Interventions
Animals 2013, 3(1), 127-141; doi:10.3390/ani3010127
Received: 18 December 2012 / Revised: 4 February 2013 / Accepted: 6 February 2013 / Published: 27 February 2013
Cited by 3 | PDF Full-text (160 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
This paper presents a discussion of the literature on animal-assisted interventions and describes limitations surrounding current methodological quality. Benefits to human physical, psychological and social health cannot be empirically confirmed due to the methodological limitations of the existing body of research, and comparisons
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This paper presents a discussion of the literature on animal-assisted interventions and describes limitations surrounding current methodological quality. Benefits to human physical, psychological and social health cannot be empirically confirmed due to the methodological limitations of the existing body of research, and comparisons cannot validly be made across different studies. Without a solid research base animal-assisted interventions will not receive recognition and acceptance as a credible alternative health care treatment. The paper draws on the work of four systematic reviews conducted over April–May 2009, with no date restrictions, focusing exclusively on the use of canine-assisted interventions for older people residing in long-term care. The reviews revealed a lack of good quality studies. Although the literature base has grown in volume since its inception, it predominantly consists of anecdotal accounts and reports. Experimental studies undertaken are often flawed in aspects of design, conduct and reporting. There are few qualitative studies available leading to the inability to draw definitive conclusions. It is clear that due to the complexities associated with these interventions not all weaknesses can be eliminated. However, there are basic methodological weaknesses that can be addressed in future studies in the area. Checklists for quantitative and qualitative research designs to guide future research are offered to help address methodological rigour. Full article
Open AccessArticle An Investigation of a Cluster of Parapoxvirus Cases in Missouri, Feb–May 2006: Epidemiologic, Clinical and Molecular Aspects
Animals 2013, 3(1), 142-157; doi:10.3390/ani3010142
Received: 10 December 2012 / Revised: 5 February 2013 / Accepted: 15 February 2013 / Published: 28 February 2013
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (158 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
In the spring of 2006, four human cases of parapoxvirus infections in Missouri residents were reported to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), two of which were initially diagnosed as cutaneous anthrax. This investigation was conducted to determine the level of
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In the spring of 2006, four human cases of parapoxvirus infections in Missouri residents were reported to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), two of which were initially diagnosed as cutaneous anthrax. This investigation was conducted to determine the level of recognition of zoonotic parapoxvirus infections and prevention measures, the degree to which veterinarians may be consulted on human infections and what forces were behind this perceived increase in reported infections. Interviews were conducted and clinical and environmental sampling was performed. Swab and scab specimens were analyzed by real-time polymerase chain reaction (PCR), whereas serum specimens were evaluated for parapoxvirus antibodies. Three case patients were found to have fed ill juvenile animals without using gloves. Forty-six percent of veterinarians reported having been consulted regarding suspected human orf infections. Orf virus DNA was detected from five of 25 asymptomatic sheep. Analysis of extracellular envelope gene sequences indicated that sheep and goat isolates clustered in a species-preferential fashion. Parapoxvirus infections are common in Missouri ruminants and their handlers. Infected persons often do not seek medical care; some may seek advice from veterinarians rather than physicians. The initial perception of increased incidence in Missouri may have arisen from a reporting artifact stemming from heightened concern about anthrax. Asymptomatic parapoxvirus infections in livestock may be common and further investigation warranted. Full article
Open AccessArticle Unusual Childhood Waking as a Possible Precursor of the 1995 Kobe Earthquake
Animals 2013, 3(1), 228-237; doi:10.3390/ani3010228
Received: 4 January 2013 / Revised: 21 February 2013 / Accepted: 27 February 2013 / Published: 5 March 2013
Cited by 2 | PDF Full-text (248 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Nearly 1,100 young students living in Japan at a range of distances up to 500 km from the 1995 Kobe M7 earthquake were interviewed. A statistically significant abnormal rate of early wakening before the earthquake was found, having exponential decrease with distance and
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Nearly 1,100 young students living in Japan at a range of distances up to 500 km from the 1995 Kobe M7 earthquake were interviewed. A statistically significant abnormal rate of early wakening before the earthquake was found, having exponential decrease with distance and a half value approaching 100 km, but decreasing much slower than from a point source such as an epicentre; instead originating from an extended area of more than 100 km in diameter. Because an improbably high amount of variance is explained, this effect is unlikely to be simply psychological and must reflect another mechanism—perhaps Ultra-Low Frequency (ULF) electromagnetic waves creating anxiety—but probably not 222Rn excess. Other work reviewed suggests these conclusions may be valid for animals in general, not just children, but would be very difficult to apply for practical earthquake prediction. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biological Anomalies Prior to Earthquakes)
Open AccessCommunication Bio-Mimetics of Disaster Anticipation—Learning Experience and Key-Challenges
Animals 2013, 3(1), 274-299; doi:10.3390/ani3010274
Received: 10 February 2013 / Revised: 13 March 2013 / Accepted: 14 March 2013 / Published: 19 March 2013
PDF Full-text (681 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Anomalies in animal behavior and meteorological phenomena before major earthquakes have been reported throughout history. Bio-mimetics or bionics aims at learning disaster anticipation from animals. Since modern science is reluctant to address this problem an effort has been made to track down the
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Anomalies in animal behavior and meteorological phenomena before major earthquakes have been reported throughout history. Bio-mimetics or bionics aims at learning disaster anticipation from animals. Since modern science is reluctant to address this problem an effort has been made to track down the knowledge available to ancient natural philosophers. Starting with an archaeologically documented human sacrifice around 1700 B.C. during the Minoan civilization immediately before a large earthquake, which killed the participants, earthquake prediction knowledge throughout antiquity is evaluated. Major practical experience with this phenomenon has been gained from a Chinese earthquake prediction initiative nearly half a century ago. Some quakes, like that of Haicheng, were recognized in advance. However, the destructive Tangshan earthquake was not predicted, which was interpreted as an inherent failure of prediction based on animal phenomena. This is contradicted on the basis of reliable Chinese documentation provided by the responsible earthquake study commission. The Tangshan earthquake was preceded by more than 2,000 reported animal anomalies, some of which were of very dramatic nature. They are discussed here. Any physical phenomenon, which may cause animal unrest, must involve energy turnover before the main earthquake event. The final product, however, of any energy turnover is heat. Satellite based infrared measurements have indeed identified significant thermal anomalies before major earthquakes. One of these cases, occurring during the 2001 Bhuj earthquake in Gujarat, India, is analyzed together with parallel animal anomalies observed in the Gir national park. It is suggested that the time window is identical and that both phenomena have the same geophysical origin. It therefore remains to be demonstrated that energy can be released locally before major earthquake events. It is shown that by considering appropriate geophysical feedback processes, this is possible for large scale energy conversion phenomena within highly non-linear geophysical mechanisms. With satellite monitored infrared anomalies indicating possible epicenters and local animal and environmental observations immediately initiated, the learning experience towards an understanding of the phenomena involved could be accelerated. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biological Anomalies Prior to Earthquakes)

Review

Jump to: Research

Open AccessReview Ethnopharmacological Survey of Plants Used in the Traditional Treatment of Gastrointestinal Pain, Inflammation and Diarrhea in Africa: Future Perspectives for Integration into Modern Medicine
Animals 2013, 3(1), 158-227; doi:10.3390/ani3010158
Received: 4 January 2013 / Revised: 6 February 2013 / Accepted: 7 February 2013 / Published: 4 March 2013
Cited by 5 | PDF Full-text (330 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
There is a growing need to find the most appropriate and effective treatment options for a variety of painful syndromes, including conditions affecting the gastrointestinal tract, for treating both veterinary and human patients. The most successful regimen may come through integrated therapies including
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There is a growing need to find the most appropriate and effective treatment options for a variety of painful syndromes, including conditions affecting the gastrointestinal tract, for treating both veterinary and human patients. The most successful regimen may come through integrated therapies including combining current and novel western drugs with acupuncture and botanical therapies or their derivatives. There is an extensive history and use of plants in African traditional medicine. In this review, we have highlighted botanical remedies used for treatment of pain, diarrheas and inflammation in traditional veterinary and human health care in Africa. These preparations are promising sources of new compounds comprised of flavonoids, bioflavanones, xanthones, terpenoids, sterols and glycosides as well as compound formulas and supplements for future use in multimodal treatment approaches to chronic pain, gastrointestinal disorders and inflammation. The advancement of plant therapies and their derivative compounds will require the identification and validation of compounds having specific anti-nociceptive neuromodulatory and/or anti-inflammatory effects. In particular, there is need for the identification of the presence of compounds that affect purinergic, GABA, glutamate, TRP, opioid and cannabinoid receptors, serotonergic and chloride channel systems through bioactivity-guided, high-throughput screening and biotesting. This will create new frontiers for obtaining novel compounds and herbal supplements to relieve pain and gastrointestinal disorders, and suppress inflammation. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Combination of Western and Chinese Medicine in Veterinary Science)
Open AccessReview Animal Experiments in Biomedical Research: A Historical Perspective
Animals 2013, 3(1), 238-273; doi:10.3390/ani3010238
Received: 15 February 2013 / Revised: 11 March 2013 / Accepted: 11 March 2013 / Published: 19 March 2013
Cited by 7 | PDF Full-text (708 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The use of non-human animals in biomedical research has given important contributions to the medical progress achieved in our day, but it has also been a cause of heated public, scientific and philosophical discussion for hundreds of years. This review, with a mainly
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The use of non-human animals in biomedical research has given important contributions to the medical progress achieved in our day, but it has also been a cause of heated public, scientific and philosophical discussion for hundreds of years. This review, with a mainly European outlook, addresses the history of animal use in biomedical research, some of its main protagonists and antagonists, and its effect on society from Antiquity to the present day, while providing a historical context with which to understand how we have arrived at the current paradigm regarding the ethical treatment of animals in research. Full article

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