5,750 research outputs found

    Plumage colouration differs between offspring raised in natural cavities and nestboxes

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    Most of our knowledge of secondary hole-nesting birds comes from populations breeding in human-provided nestboxes, yet these might differ from natural cavities in a number of parameters, including internal dimensions or microclimate, leading to differences in reproductive ecology. Here, we demonstrate differences in plumage coloration, an important visual signal of individual quality, in blue tit (Cyanistes caeruleus) and great tit (Parus major) nestlings raised in natural cavities and nestboxes. For this study, we collected feather samples over two breeding seasons, and applied reflectance spectrophotometry to calculate color metrics. Carotenoid chroma was higher in nestbox-reared blue tits, whereas brightness was higher in nestbox-reared great tits (with a similar tendency for blue tits). The latter result might be explained by the better nutritional condition of great tit nestlings raised in nestboxes. Furthermore, we found no evidence for preference of adults expressing more elaborate plumage towards a specific cavity type in either species. Consequently, we assume that differences in nestling plumage reported here are driven by rearing conditions (nestboxes vs. natural cavities) and not by differences in plumage-based parental quality. Our study adds to the growing body of evidence confirming that anthropogenic environmental modifiers, such as nestboxes, might influence avian physiology and the resulting phenotype.</p

    Genetic basis and expression of ventral colour in polymorphic common lizards

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    Colour is an important visual cue that can correlate with sex, behaviour, life history or ecological strategies, and has evolved divergently and convergently across animal lineages. Its genetic basis in non-model organisms is rarely known, but such information is vital for determining the drivers and mechanisms of colour evolution. Leveraging genetic admixture in a rare contact zone between oviparous and viviparous common lizards (Zootoca vivipara), we show that females (N = 558) of the two otherwise morphologically indistinguishable reproductive modes differ in their ventral colouration (from pale to vibrant yellow) and intensity of melanic patterning. We find no association between female colouration and reproductive investment, and no evidence for selection on colour. Using a combination of genetic mapping and transcriptomic evidence, we identified two candidate genes associated with ventral colour differentiation, DGAT2 and PMEL. These are genes known to be involved in carotenoid metabolism and melanin synthesis respectively. Ventral melanic spots were associated with two genomic regions, including a SNP close to protein tyrosine phosphatase (PTP) genes. Using genome re-sequencing data, our results show that fixed coding mutations in the candidate genes cannot account for differences in colouration. Taken together, our findings show that the evolution of ventral colouration and its associations across common lizard lineages is variable. A potential genetic mechanism explaining the flexibility of ventral colouration may be that colouration in common lizards, but also across squamates, is predominantly driven by regulatory genetic variation

    Un GĂĽirirĂ­ \u3cem\u3eDendrocygna autumnalis\u3c/em\u3e con plumaje aberrante en Venezuela / A Black-Bellied Whistling Duck \u3cem\u3eDendrocygna autumnalis\u3c/em\u3e with Aberrant Plumage in Venezuela

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    Plumage coloration plays an important role in camouflage, communication, and physiological processes in birds. Although various pigmentary aberrations of bird plumage have been documented in Venezuela, here we present the first documented case of a Black-bellied Whistling Duck with progressive graying or partial leucism. It is one of the few ducks with documented plumage aberrations in Venezuela and the Americas

    Primer registro de leucismo total para la Tijereta de Mar \u3cem\u3eFregata magnificens\u3c/em\u3e en Venezuela / First Record of Total Leucism for the Magnificent Frigatebird \u3cem\u3eFregata magnificens\u3c/em\u3e in Venezuela

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    Plumage aberrations in birds are not unusual and have been sporadically mentioned in literature, in which different patterns and variations are described. Leucism is an inherited disorder, characterized on birds by the lack of pigments in part or all of the plumage, and normal coloration of soft parts such as the bill, eyes, and legs. We present here the fi rst record of total leucism in Magnifi cent Frigatebird Fregata magnifi cens, and the fi rst for the species in Venezuela. Long-term studies are needed in the Neotropical region to evaluate survival and breeding success in leucistic birds

    Responsible Artificial Intelligence and Journal Publishing

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    The aim of this opinion piece is to examine the responsible use of artificial intelligence (AI) in relation to academic journal publishing. The work discusses approaches to AI with particular attention to recent developments with generative AI. Consensus is noted around eight normative themes for principles for responsible AI and their associated risks. A framework from Shneiderman (2022) for human-centered AI is employed to consider journal publishing practices that can address the principles of responsible AI at different levels. The resultant AI principled governance matrix (AI-PGM) for journal publishing shows how countermeasures for risks can be employed at the levels of the author-researcher team, the organization, the industry, and by government regulation. The AI-PGM allows a structured approach to responsible AI and may be modified as developments with AI unfold. It shows how the whole publishing ecosystem should be considered when looking at the responsible use of AI—not just journal policy itself

    Comparative Nutritional Analysis of Domestic and Imported Commercial Canary Egg Food and Mixed Seeds Based Diets

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    ABSTRACT In this study, the aim was to determine the nutritional content of specially formulated commercial soft/egg foods for canaries, preferred by professional breeders in Türkiye, and the nutritional and raw material content of seed mixtures, thereby providing insights into the general diet compositions and essential feeding regimens for canaries. The study examined 17 different seed types, eight mixed seed feeds, and 11 egg food formulations. Two main groups, “domestic” and “imported,” were formed from these mixed seed feed and egg food products. The nutritional content ratios of each feed material were determined through chemical analyses, and the predicted metabolizable energy values were calculated and compared between group averages. According to the results, there were no significant differences (p>0.05) between the data of domestic and imported mixed seed feed groups in terms of parameters other than crude fiber (CF). However, the CF value was found to be statistically significantly lower in the imported group (p<0.05), and a decreasing trend in the crude ash (CA) value was also observed in the same group. It was determined that almost all parameters resulted in similar values between the domestic and imported egg food groups. However, when each feed product was evaluated separately, significant data differences and wide variation ranges were found within the groups, especially in terms of crude fat and starch parameters. As a result, it is understood that domestically produced commercial egg food formulations with basic nutritional content comparable to European imported products are available for use by canary breeders in Türkiye. However, it is apparent that imported products, particularly in mixed seed formulations, had raw materials with lower CF and CA contents
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