Scripta Elegans (scripta + elegan)

Distribution by Scientific Domains

Selected Abstracts

Interspecific Differences in Responses to Predation Risk May Confer Competitive Advantages to Invasive Freshwater Turtle Species

ETHOLOGY, Issue 2 2008
Nuria Polo-Cavia
The nature of competitive interactions between native and introduced invasive species is unclear. In the Iberian Peninsula, the introduced red-eared slider (Trachemys scripta elegans) is an invasive species that is competing and displacing the endangered native Spanish terrapin (Mauremys leprosa). We hypothesized that interspecific differences in antipredatory behavior might confer competitive advantages to introduced T. scripta. We examined whether interspecific differences in responses to predation risk affect the time that turtles remained hidden in the shell before using an active escape to water. Both turtle species adjusted hiding times by balancing predation threat, microhabitat conditions and the costs of remaining hidden. However, introduced T. scripta showed longer hiding times before escaping than native M. Leprosa, which, in contrast, switched from waiting hidden in the shell to escape to deep water as soon as possible. These interspecific differences might result from the risk of facing different types of predators in different microhabitats (land vs. water) in their original habitats. However, in anthropogenically altered habitats where predators have been greatly reduced, T. scripta may avoid potential costs of unnecessary repeated escape responses to water (e.g. interruption of basking). These behavioral asymmetries could contribute to the greater competitive ability of introduced T. scripta within anthropogenically disturbed environments. [source]

Slow-tonic muscle fibers and their potential innervation in the turtle, Pseudemys (Trachemys) scripta elegans

Robert J. Callister
Abstract A description is provided of the ratio of slow-tonic vs. slow- and fast-twitch fibers for five muscles in the adult turtle, Pseudemys (Trachemys) scripta elegans. The cross-sectional area of each fiber type and an estimation of the relative (weighted) cross-sectional area occupied by the different fiber types are also provided. Two hindlimb muscles (flexor digitorum longus, FDL; external gastrocnemius, EG) were selected on the basis of their suitability for future motor-unit studies. Three neck muscles (the fourth head of testo-cervicis, TeC4; the fourth head of retrahens capitus collique, RCCQ4; transversalis cervicis, TrC) were chosen for their progressively decreasing oxidative capacity. Serial sections were stained for myosin adenosine triphosphatase (ATPase), NADH-diaphorase, and alpha-glycerophosphate dehydrogenase (,-GPDH). Conventional fiber-type classification was then performed using indirect markers for contraction speed and oxidative (aerobic) vs. glycolytic (anaerobic) metabolism: i.e., slow oxidative (SO, including slow-twitch and possibly slow-tonic fibers), fast-twitch, oxidative-glycolytic (FOG), and fast-twitch glycolytic (Fg) fibers. Slow-tonic fibers in the SO class were then revealed by directing the monoclonal antibody, ALD-58 (raised against the slow-tonic fiber myosin heavy chain of chicken anterior latissimus dorsi), to additional muscle cross sections. All five of the tested muscles contained the four fiber types, with the ATPase-stained fibers including both slow-tonic and slow-twitch fibers. The extreme distributions of SO fibers were in the predominately glycolytic TrC vs. the predominately oxidative TeC4 muscle (TrC,SO, 9%; FOG, 20%; Fg, 71% vs. TeC4,SO, 58%: FOG, 16%; Fg, 25%). Across the five muscles, the relative prevalence of slow-tonic fibers (4,47%) paralleled that of the SO fibers (9,58%). TeC4 had the highest prevalence of slow-tonic fibers (47%). The test muscles exhibited varying degrees of regional concentration of each fiber type, with the distribution of slow-tonic fibers paralleling that of the SO fibers. In the five test muscles, fiber cross-sectional area was usually ranked Fg > FOG > SO, and slow-twitch always > slow-tonic. In terms of weighted cross-sectional area, which provides a coarse-grain measure of each fiber type's potential contribution to whole muscle force, all five muscles exhibited a higher Fg and lower SO contribution to cross-sectional area than suggested by their corresponding fiber-type prevalence. This was also the case for the slow-twitch vs. slow-tonic fibers. We conclude that slow-tonic fibers are widespread in turtle muscle. The weighted cross-sectional area evidence suggested, however, that their contribution to force generation is minor except in highly oxidative muscles, with a special functional role, like TeC4. There is discussion of: 1) the relationship between the present results and previous work on homologous neck and hindlimb muscles in other nonmammalian species, and 2) the potential motoneuronal innervation of slow-tonic fibers in turtle hindlimb muscles. J. Morphol. 2005 Wiley-Liss, Inc. [source]

Pharmacokinetics of metronidazole in the red-eared slider turtle (Trachemys scripta elegans) after single intracoelomic injection

First page of article [source]

Immunohistochemical and hodological characterization of calbindin-D28k-containing neurons in the spinal cord of the turtle, Pseudemys scripta elegans

Ruth Morona
Abstract Neurons and fibers containing the calcium-binding protein calbindin-D28k (CB) were studied by immunohistochemical techniques in the spinal cord of adult and juvenile turtles, Pseudemys scripta elegans. Abundant cell bodies and fibers immunoreactive for CB were widely and distinctly distributed throughout the spinal cord. Most neurons and fibers were labeled in the superficial dorsal horn, but numerous cells were also located in the intermediate gray and ventral horn. In the dorsal horn, most CB-containing cells were located in close relation to the synaptic fields formed by primary afferents, which were not labeled for CB. Double immunohistofluorescence demonstrated distinct cell populations in the dorsal horn labeled only for CB or nitric oxide synthase, whereas in the dorsal part of the ventral horn colocalization of nitric oxide synthase was found in about 6% of the CB-immunoreactive cells in this region. Choline acetyltransferase immunohistochemistry revealed that only about 2% of the neurons in the dorsal part of the ventral horn colocalized CB, whereas motoneurons were not CB-immunoreactive. The involvement of CB-containing neurons in ascending spinal projections to the thalamus, tegmentum, and reticular formation was demonstrated combining the retrograde transport of dextran amines and immunohistochemistry. Similar experiments demonstrated supraspinal projections from CB-containing cells mainly located in the reticular formation but also in the thalamus and the vestibular nucleus. The revealed organization of the neurons and fibers containing CB in the spinal cord of the turtle shares distribution and developmental features, colocalization with other neuronal markers, and connectivity with other tetrapods and, in particular with mammals. Microsc. Res. Tech., 2007. 2007 Wiley-Liss, Inc. [source]