241,530 research outputs found

    Towards sustainable management of rodents in organic animal husbandry

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    From 26 to 28 May 2004 an international seminar was held in Wageningen, the Netherlands, about current knowledge and advice on rodent management on organic pig and poultry farms in Western Europe. This paper summarizes the discussions. Rodent management is necessary to protect the food production chain from health hazards to livestock and humans. Some organic farmers prefer biological rodent control, but since rodents can also transmit diseases this bears certain risks for the production of healthy livestock and safe food. Effective rodent management requires a thorough understanding of the biology of the pest species concerned. These can be divided into two groups: field rodents, such as voles, and commensal rodents like house mice and rats. The objective of managing field rodents is to minimize livestock exposure to these vectors, and to regulate their populations in case their density is expected to grow dramatically. Infestation of livestock facilities with commensal rodents can be prevented, but once they are present, their eradication must be aimed for. General elements of rodent management are (1) the prevention of rodent infestations through strategic actions such as modifying the habitat or rodent proofing of the buildings, (2) monitoring their appearance and population density, and (3) rodent control measures. A number of possible management actions is described to provide a basis for examining the measures’ social acceptability, their economic and environmental impacts, and their efficacy

    Mammalian pest problems in organic pig farming, preventive measures and control

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    Organic pig farming includes having pigs in open fields with relatively close contact to the wild fauna. The risk of transmission of parasites and diseases to the pigs is therefore higher than in traditional pig farming with pigs under strict control in indoor pigsties. Newborn and sucking pigs are also exposed to predators that may cause losses to the farmers. A general trend in organic farming is to avoid the use of pesticides. There is therefore a need for effective preventive measures and control methods that are acceptable to the organic farmers. As a first step in a project for developing strategies for pest management in organic pig farming we conducted a questionnaire survey in Denmark. The farmers were asked questions about what they considered problems arising from the natural environment. They were also asked to describe how they offered fodder and water, which types of huts they used etc. The surroundings should be described regarding factors that were thought to influence the natural fauna, such as e.g. distance to quickset hedges, forests, streams and watercourses. The results of the survey showed that rats and smaller rodents (mice and voles), foxes and hares were the most frequently occurring mammals in the fields with pigs. The farmers considered rats and foxes as causing the most important (pest) problems. Occurrence of rats is reported significantly more frequently in organic pig farming than in traditional pig farming in open fields. The answers given by the farmers were analysed as to possible relationships between occurrence of / problems with rodents and the practice regarding the pig farming. There was a significant positive correlation between occurrence of rats, smaller rodents and foxes. Use of automatic feeding systems and open water trays, and having stacks of hay and straw in the fields were all factors that were significantly positively correlated with the occurrence of rats and smaller rodents. The occurrence of smaller rodents was negatively correlated with the use of huts with a bottom and huts made of hard materials. Special shelters for the pigs exclusively made of bales of straw did not give a significant positive correlation with occurrence of rodents. These results indicate factors that are practicable as preventive measures against rodents. The farmers reported traps, shooting, and cats and dogs as the most frequent non-chemical ways of controlling rodents

    By hook or by crook? Morphometry, competition and cooperation in rodent sperm

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    Background Sperm design varies enormously across species and sperm competition is thought to be a major factor influencing this variation. However, the functional significance of many sperm traits is still poorly understood. The sperm of most murid rodents are characterised by an apical hook of the sperm head that varies markedly in extent across species. In the European woodmouse Apodemus sylvaticus (Muridae), the highly reflected apical hook of sperm is used to form sperm groups, or “trains,” which exhibited increased swimming velocity and thrusting force compared to individual sperm. Methodology/Principal Findings Here we use a comparative study of murine rodent sperm and demonstrate that the apical hook and sperm cooperation are likely to be general adaptations to sperm competition in rodents. We found that species with relatively larger testes, and therefore more intense sperm competition, have a longer, more reflected apical sperm hook. In addition, we show that sperm groups also occur in rodents other than the European woodmouse. Conclusions Our results suggest that in rodents sperm cooperation is more widespread than assumed so far and highlight the importance of diploid versus haploid selection in the evolution of sperm design and function

    Investigating Geometric Representation in Rodents

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    Comparative Chromosome Maps of Neotropical Rodents Necromys lasiurus and Thaptomys nigrita (Cricetidae) Established by ZOO-FISH

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    This work presents chromosome homology maps between Mus musculus (MMU) and 2 South American rodent species from the Cricetidae group: Necromys lasiurus (NLA, 2n = 34) and Thaptomys nigrita (TNI, 2n = 52), established by ZOO-FISH using mouse chromosome-specific painting probes. Extending previous molecular cytogenetic studies in Neotropical rodents, the purpose of this work was to delineate evolutionary chromosomal rearrangements in Cricetidae rodents and to reconstruct the phylogenetic relationships among the Akodontini species. Our phylogenetic reconstruction by maximum parsimony analysis of chromosomal characters confirmed one consistent clade of all Neotropical rodents studied so far. In both species analyzed here, we observed the syntenic association of chromosome segments homologous to MMU 8/13, suggesting that this chromosome form is a synapomorphic trait exclusive to Neotropical rodents. Further, the previously described Akodontini-specific syntenic associations MMU 3/18 and MMU 6/12 were observed in N. lasiurus but not in T. nigrita, although the latter species is considered a member of the Akodontini tribe by some authors. Finally, and in agreement with this finding, N. lasiurus and Akodon serrensis share the derived fission of MMU 13, which places them as basal sister clades within Akodontini. Copyright (C) 2011 S. Karger AG, Base

    L-Arginine promotes gut hormone release and reduces food intake in rodents

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    Aims: To investigate the anorectic effect of L‐arginine (L‐Arg) in rodents. Methods: We investigated the effects of L‐Arg on food intake, and the role of the anorectic gut hormones glucagon‐like peptide‐1 (GLP‐1) and peptide YY (PYY), the G‐protein‐coupled receptor family C group 6 member A (GPRC6A) and the vagus nerve in mediating these effects in rodents. Results: Oral gavage of L‐Arg reduced food intake in rodents, and chronically reduced cumulative food intake in diet‐induced obese mice. Lack of the GPRC6A in mice and subdiaphragmatic vagal deafferentation in rats did not influence these anorectic effects. L‐Arg stimulated GLP‐1 and PYY release in vitro and in vivo. Pharmacological blockade of GLP‐1 and PYY receptors did not influence the anorectic effect of L‐Arg. L‐Arg‐mediated PYY release modulated net ion transport across the gut mucosa. Intracerebroventricular (i.c.v.) and intraperitoneal (i.p.) administration of L‐Arg suppressed food intake in rats. Conclusions: L‐Arg reduced food intake and stimulated gut hormone release in rodents. The anorectic effect of L‐Arg is unlikely to be mediated by GLP‐1 and PYY, does not require GPRC6A signalling and is not mediated via the vagus. I.c.v. and i.p. administration of L‐Arg suppressed food intake in rats, suggesting that L‐Arg may act on the brain to influence food intake. Further work is required to determine the mechanisms by which L‐Arg suppresses food intake and its utility in the treatment of obesity

    Humans and dolphins: Decline and fall of adult neurogenesis

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    Pre-clinical research is carried out on animal models, mostly laboratory rodents, with the ultimate aim of translating the acquired knowledge to humans. In the last decades, adult neurogenesis (AN) has been intensively studied since it is viewed as a tool for fostering brain plasticity, possibly repair. Yet, occurrence, location, and rate of AN vary among mammals: the capability for constitutive neuronal production is substantially reduced when comparing small-brained, short living (laboratory rodents) and large-brained, long-living species (humans, dolphins). Several difficulties concerning scarce availability of fresh tissues, technical limits and ethical concerns did contribute in delaying and diverting the achievement of the picture of neurogenic plasticity in large-brained mammals. Some reports appeared in the last few years, starting to shed more light on this issue. Despite technical limits, data from recent studies mostly converge to indicate that neurogenesis is vestigial, or possibly absent, in regions of the adult human brain where in rodents neuronal addition continues into adult life. Analyses carried out in dolphins, mammals devoid of olfaction, but descendant of ancestors provided with olfaction, has shown disappearance of neurogenesis in both neonatal and adult individuals. Heterogeneity in mammalian structural plasticity remains largely underestimated by scientists focusing their research in rodents. Comparative studies are the key to understand the function of AN and the possible translational significance of neuronal replacement in humans. Here, we summarize comparative studies on AN and discuss the evolutionary implications of variations on the recruitment of new neurons in different regions and different species

    Mammals of Southwestern Arkansas Part II. Rodents

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    This study investigated the composition and habitat affinities of the mammalian fauna of southwestern Arkansas. The study area was comprised of the 21 counties located south and/or west of and including Pulaski County. The previously existing data set pertaining to the mammals of Arkansas was notably incomplete and this study area in particular, was poorly known mammalogically. Specimens were collected by standard trapping and salvage methods throughout the study area. The mammals considered during this study were limited to those species meeting a set of criteria designed to eliminate species that had been introduced or artificially maintained. This study has accumulated records of 25 species of rodents; over 1500 specimens have been recorded; and a total of 95 new county records have been documented

    Human Processing of Rodents in Patagonia: The Relevance of Historical and Ethnographical Data for Archaeological Interpretations

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    The consumption of small mammals was a widespread practice between indigenous societies worldwide. Modern taphonomic studies carried out upon bone assemblages from archaeological sites in northern Patagonia (Argentina) demonstrate thatCaviomorph rodents were also included in the diet of Patagonian populations, both from the steppe and the forests, at least since the Late Holocene. The revision of historical and ethnographical documents written by priests, naturalists and ethnographers during c.XVI-XX allow to corroborate that rodents were intensively exploited in Patagonia, continental and insular. Bones, meat and skin of the animals were employed for diverse purposes, and the gathering activity was guided by women and children.Fil: Andrade, Analia. Consejo Nacional de Investigaciones Científicas y Técnicas. Centro Científico Tecnológico Conicet - Centro Nacional Patagónico. Instituto Patagónico de Ciencias Sociales y Humanas; Argentin
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