Table of Content

    20 April 2017, Volume 37 Issue 2
    Personality variation and adaptation to the environment of the plateau pika (Ochotona curzoniae)
    CHENG Qi, QU Jiapeng, ZHANG He, ZHANG Yanmin
    2017, 37(2):  115-123.  DOI: 10.16829/j.slxb.201702001
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    Personality reflects an individual’s set of typical behavioral tendencies exhibited in various situations and refer to animal’s stable and heritable behavioral characteristics. The constraint hypothesis assumes that personality is heritable, is determined by genetic factors, and does not evolve easily. In contrast, the adaptive hypothesis assumes that personality is mainly affected by environmental factors. Personality traits of different species in the same environment will produce convergence. To examine the predictions of the constraint hypothesis and adaptive hypothesis, we compared personality differences in plateau pika(Ochotona curzoniae) between two different regions. The results of cluster analysis show that the personality of wild plateau pika populations from Gangcha County clustered into 3 categories, Maqin County clustered into 2, and after rearing 2-3 months in laboratory, personality of plateau pika from both counties clustered into 1 category. Scanning, climbing, centrality, border behavior of two geographical populations showed no significant difference, but immobility between geographic populations still showed significant differences, the ambulation between two geographic populations and wild, interior populations both showed significant differences. No significant difference was found in docility between two geographic populations; there was no significant difference between geographical populations for heart rate. The results indicate that there are no significant geographical differences in major behavioral parameters of plateau pika personality traits. So personality is determined by genetic factors and confirmed the prediction of constraint hypothesis.
    The impacts of Korean pine cone production and availability on hoarding behaviors of squirrels (Sciurus vulgaris) and chipmunks (Eutamias sibiricus)
    GAO Hongmei, MEI Suonancuo, RONG Ke, MA Jianzhang, ZONG Chen
    2017, 37(2):  124-130.  DOI: 10.16829/j.slxb.201702002
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    Plants increase the efficiency of seed dispersal by hoarding animals by producing large seed amounts at intervals of several years, however artificially picking seeds decreased the food availability and had impacts on hoarding behaviors and population dynamics of animals. To probe the impacts of cone-picking on cone availability and hoarding behavior of the main animals in Korean pine forest, based on the cone production and picking amount of Heilongjiang Liangshui National Nature Reserve during 2003-2012, we investigated changes of cache size and depth; cache density; the number of squirrels in mast and non-mast years; population sizes of squirrels and chipmunks; and larder-hoarding seed amounts in chipmunk caves in 2010 and 2011. The results showed that: 1) compared with non-mast years, the average cache size, density and number of squirrels were significantly larger in mast years; 2) cone availability was lower in some mast years because the picking proportion was higher than non-mast years; 3) cone production of Korean pine in 2011 was highest, but hoarding density of squirrels was lower than another two mast years, 2003 and 2008, and the encounter rate was lowest; 4) however the population density and pine seed amount in chipmunk caves was not significantly different between 2010 and 2011. Our research indicated that the increase of picking proportion decreased cone availability and had obvious impacts on the hoarding behavior of squirrels. Nature Reserves should wisely determine the picking amount of Korean pine cone, especially in mast years, to ensure the food abundance of hoarding animals and maintain the health of Korean pine ecosystem.
    Influence of environmental and social factors on activity rhythm and time budget of rhesus macaques (Macaca mulatta) in Karst Habitat
    TANG Chuangbin, JIANG Jianbo, HUANG Chengming, LU Changhu, ZHOU Qihai
    2017, 37(2):  131-138.  DOI: 10.16829/j.slxb.201702003
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    We collected data on diet activity rhythm and time budget from one large group of wild rhesus macaques(Macaca mulatta)in Nonggang National Nature Reserve between September 2007 and August 2008. Instantaneous scan sampling was used for data collection. We examined the influences of environmental and social factors on the activity rhythm and time budgets, and assessed behavioral strategies in karst habitat. Our results indicate that macaques showed morning and afternoon feeding peaks, with a midday resting peak, possibly as an adaptation to temperature and sunlight. During the study period, macaques spent an average of 15.1% of their daytime feeding, 42.1% resting, 34.5% moving, 2.0% playing, 5.2% grooming, and 1.3% other behaviors. Additional, macaques adjusted their activity budgets in response to the changes in diet composition, spending more time moving when they increased fruit consumption. The percentage of time devoted to different activities differed significantly among different sex-age classes. Adult males spent more time resting, whereas adult females spent more time feeding and grooming. Immature individuals spent more time playing. Compared to a sympatric small macaque group, our study group spent more time resting, and less time feeding, which could be related to crop-raiding by our study group.
    Bite force and trophic niche partitioning in Yunan Xishuangbanna bat community
    TAN Liangjing, SUN Yunxiao, LIU Qi, PENG Xingwen, ZHANG Qin, LIU Hui, LIANG Jie, PENG Zhen, HE Xiangyang, ZHANG Libiao
    2017, 37(2):  139-145.  DOI: 10.16829/j.slxb.201702004
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    Bite force is correlated to the morphological characters of the chewing system, and with the hardness of diets of animals, which is a critical index for foraging behaviour. Here, the bite forces of 12 bat species of three dietary groups, including frugivore, nectarivore, and insectivore, were investigated in Xishuangbanna, Yunnan Province during April 2012. The bite forces of bats were measured using aforce transducer when the bats were held in hand. The differences in bite forces were investigated among the three groups. We also analyzed the correlation between the bite force and body mass, forearm length, and head length of bats. Taking into account the body mass of bats, the bite force of frugivorous bats is significantly higher than that of nectarivorous bats, and the bite force of insectivorous bats is lower than that of nectarivorous bats. In addition, the bite forces of bats is positively correlated with their body mass, forearm length, and head length. Our study suggested that the bite force is mainly affected by the body mass of bats and is to a certain extent by their feeding habits. The elongation of the rostral part of the skull in nectarivorous may result in a decrease of bite force.
    Effect of food source distance on hoarding strategy of Apodemus draco
    CHEN Xiaoning, ZHANG Bo, WANG Jing, HOU Xiang, HAN Ning, SHEN Jian, CHANG Gang
    2017, 37(2):  146-151.  DOI: 10.16829/j.slxb.201702005
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    The effect of food source distance on hoarding strategy of South China field mice (Apodemus draco) was tested in a semi-natural enclosure, and two predictions based on the Rapidly Sequestering Hypothesis and Optimal Cache Spacing Model  were examined: (1) Seeds would be scatter-hoarded near the three test sites respectively regardless of distance between nest and test sites; (2) With increasing of distance between cache site and nest,the proportion of larder-hoarded seeds would decrease. The results showed that scatter hoarding behavior is the main caching strategy of A. draco, and there was no significant difference in the number of seeds scatter-hoarded in the three test sites, supporting prediction 1. The proportions of seeds that were larder-hoarded decreased with the increase of distance between test site and the nest (1m:6.25%; 5m:1.88%; 13m:1.25%), supporting prediction 2. Our results indicated that with the increased predation risk, A. draco tend to reduce the number of seeds eaten and cached.
    A study of the gas environment in foraging tunnels of plateau zokor (Myospalax baileyi) in the eastern Qilian Mountain region
    TIAN Yongliang, NIU Yujie, JI Chengpeng, ZHOU Yanshan, CHU Bin, HUA Limin
    2017, 37(2):  152-161.  DOI: 10.16829/j.slxb.201702006
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    The study of gas environment in plateau zokor’s tunnels is very important for understanding the hypoxia tolerance mechanism of the zokor. We selected active tunnels with zokor, inactive tunnels without zokor and the soil in the same layer in areas surrounding zokor’s tunnels on alpine meadow in the eastern Qilian Mountain region. Using Soil Gas Monitors in situ for 12 months, we measured gas content of oxygen, carbon dioxide, methane, and temperature inside the tunnels and soil, as well as the gas content and temperature in the air aboveground. Based on One-Way ANOVA , General linear model-Repeated Measures and Pearson analysis, our results showed that the oxygen content inside the zokor’s tunnel was less than that of inactive tunnel, soil and air aboveground during every month except October and November(P<0.05),the carbon dioxide content inside active tunnels was greater than that of inactive tunnels, soil and air aboveground during every month except July and August, the methane content inside active tunnels was greater than that of air aboveground every month; however, the monthly difference varied compared to inactive tunnels and soil. The low peak value of oxygen and high peak value of carbon dioxide inside the zokor’s tunnel occurred in May and September, these values for inactive tunnels, soil and air aboveground air appeared from June to August, the low and high peak value of methane inside active tunnels, inactive tunnels, soil and air aboveground appeared in January and December, and May and September, respectively. The results showed that significant differences existed for months, treatments and the interaction between months and treatments(P<0.05). So Plateau zokor lived in habitat with low oxygen, high carbon dioxide and higher methane content, gas of tunnel also were affected by season and Plateau zokor’s activities.
    The effects of warm temperature on energy metabolism, thermogenesis and body fat content in female striped hamsters
    TAN Song, WEN Jing, ZHAO Zhijun
    2017, 37(2):  162-171.  DOI: 10.16829/j.slxb.201702007
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    Proper adjustment of energy metabolism is one of the most important strategies in small mammals in response to variations in ambient temperature. The present study was designed to test the roles and mechanisms of metabolic thermogenesis in the adaptive regulation of body mass and body fat under warm temperatures. Body mass, energy intake, metabolic thermogenesis were determined in striped hamsters that were acclimated to warm temperature (30°C) for 1, 3 and 4 months. Cytochrome c oxydase (COX) activity and mRNA expression of uncoupling protein 1 (UCP1) in brown adipose tissue (BAT) were also measured. The results showed that warm temperature had no effect on body mass, but significantly increased body fat. Digestibility increased significantly in warm-acclimated hamsters compared to those maintained at 21°C, but the gross and digestive energy intake were significantly reduced. Nonshivering thermogenesis (NST) was reduced significantly under warm temperature. COX activity in brain, liver and heart was significantly reduced, and BAT COX activity and UCP1 mRNA expression significantly were decreased in warm-exposed hamsters compared to those maintained at 21°C. These findings suggest that the decrease in the energy expended for metabolism and thermogenesis compensates for the decreased energy intake, resulting in a positive energy balance, and consequently contributes to the increase in fat deposition. Down-regulation of metabolic rate of brain, liver, heart and BAT is the physiological mechanism underpinning the reduction of metabolic thermogenesis, which may be involved in the fat deposition in response to warm temperature.

    aptive breeding of Daurian ground squirrel after overwintering in the laboratory
    BAI Ge, YANG Ming, SONG Shiyi, PENG Xia, ZHANG Huiying, LIU Xinyu
    2017, 37(2):  172-178.  DOI: 10.16829/j.slxb.201702008
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    Durian ground squirrel (Spermophilus dauricus), a typical hibernating animal, has aroused more and more attention in the research of hibernation physiology and obesity pathology. Captive breeding populations possess clear life history characteristics, which is the ideal object of related researches. However,  in previous studies reproductive success and offspring survival rate from captive breeding both were extremely low. In order to establish captive breeding populations of Daurian ground squirrel, we improved fodder richness, raised male animals in warm conditions for about 2 weeks after arousal, and employed a "two-cage pair” method. A total of 21 pairs of squirrels were matched and 18 pairs produced offspring, for a reproduction success rate of 85.7%. 67 out of 78 offspring were still alive when they were 3 months old, for a survival rate of 85.9%. We concluded, from the experiment, that the main measures for the improvement of Daurian Ground Squirrel captive breeding were as follows: (1) Apart from commercial rat feed, dog food and carrots were added to the food list of perinatal parents and nonage offspring as nutritional supplements. (2) Males, after arousal, were temporarily transferred into rooms with a temperature of 18o C for 2 weeks, which contributed to gonad development and reproductive success. (3) A "Two-cage pair” method was used in order to avoid the interference of the external environment and reduce animal infanticide.
    Individual differences in BMR and energetic strategies of striped hamsters in response to a high fat diet
    SHI Lulu, TAN Song, WEN Jing, ZHAO Zhijun
    2017, 37(2):  179-188.  DOI: 10.16829/j.slxb.201702009
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    The present study was aimed at examining the effect of a high-fat diet on energy metabolism in small mammals with different levels of basal metabolic rate (BMR). Adult female striped hamsters (Cricetulus barabensis) were assigned into high and low BMR groups according to BMR levels recorded during baseline measurements, and then each group was randomly sub-divided into either low or high-fat diet groups, which were fed low or high-fat diets for 6 weeks. Body mass, energy intake, metabolic rate, and digestive enzyme activities, as well as cytochrome c oxidase (COX) activity and mRNA expression of uncoupling protein (UCP) of brown adipose tissue (BAT), major visceral organs and muscle were measured. The results showed that body masses of either high or low BMR groups were not affected by a high-fat diet. The high-fat diet group significantly decreased food intake, gross energy intake and digestive energy intake, but increased lipase activity of small intestine and digestibility compared with the low-fat diet group, while the differences were not significant between high and low BMR groups. The metabolic rate during the night was significantly higher than that during the day. The metabolic rate of high-BMR animals during the night was higher in the high-fat diet group than that in low-fat diet group. The COX activity of BAT, muscle and visceral organs was not affected by a high-fat diet, and they were not different between high and low BMR groups. The high-fat diet induced a significant up-regulation of UCP2 expression in liver only. These findings suggest that plastic regulation of energy intake and the morphological and functional adjustments of the digestive system are employed by striped hamsters to cope with a high fat diet. A notable circadian rhythm of metabolic rate is observed in striped hamsters, which is associated the high-fat diet acclimation and is also related to their own BMR level. There is a tissue specific gene expression of UCP, and it may not be the factor resulting in individual differences in BMR.
    Comparison of histochemical and ultrastructural characteristics of extracellular matrix components in the scrotal and cryptorchid testes of the Bactrian camel
    YUAN Ligang, LU Yurong, TAO Jinzhong, ZHANG Yong
    2017, 37(2):  189-199.  DOI: 10.16829/j.slxb.201702010
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    he present study compared the histochemical and ultrastructural characteristics of the extracellular matrix components between the scrotal and bilateral cryptorchid testes of same-aged Bactrian camels. The scrotal and cryptorchid testes of 2-year-old Bactrian camel were prepared for light and electron microscopy using histochemistry and transmission electron microscopy methods. Image-Pro Plus (IPP) statistical methods were used to identify the characteristic indices for laminin (LN), type IV collagen (Col IV), and heparan sulfate proteoglycan (HSPG) distribution by immunohistochemistry methods. The observations made with light microscopy showed that, compared with the scrotal testes, the seminiferous tubules in the bilateral cryptorchid of Bactrian camels were underdeveloped and the collagen fibers were sparse, but the reticular fibers were distributed in interstitial tissues. The PAS-positive and AB-PAS reactions in the cryptorchidism basement membranes and capillaries were weakly stained. Electron micrographs of the seminiferous tubules showed that the fibrocytes were always located around the cryptorchid interstitial blood capillaries and Leydig cells, but instead of fibroblasts and collagen in the interstitial tissues of the scrotal testes, the seminiferous epithelial basement membranes were hyperplasic surrounding spare peripheral type I collagen fibers and the peritubular myoid cells were atypical. Immunostaining analysis showed that the Col IV, LN, and HSPG were all present in Leydig cells, and Col IV and LN were strongly expressed in the walls of the small vessels. The LN were strongly expressed in Sertoli cells, but HSPG was not expressed in the spermatogonia of the Bactrian camel scrotal testes. In the cryptorchidism testes, the expression of Col IV, LN, and HSPG were weakly expressed in Leydig cells,and Col IV and LN were significantly reduced in the endothelial cells of the blood capillaries and peritubular myoid cells, but HSPG was expressed more strongly in the spermatogonia and markedly present in the spermatids. The average absorbance of Col IV and LN expression was significantly higher in the Bactrian camel scrotal testes (P<0.05). In addition, the average absorbance of HSPG expression did not differ between the healthy and cryptorchid Bactrian camels (P>0.01). Taken together, the abnormalities in the seminiferous tubule and the decrease in the synthetic ability of interstitial collagen fibers are the histochemical and ultrastructural characteristics of cryptorchid Bactrian camels. The average absorbances of Col IV and LN expression were significantly lower in the cryptorchid testes were correlated with the developmental abnormalities of seminiferous tubules and Leydig cells, and the expression of HSPG was significant in the seminiferous epithelium and closely related to spermatogonia development.
    Genetic diversity analysis based microsatellite of Asian Elephants in Puer
    DU Jiaojiao, HE Changhuan, ZHU Di, YANG Fan, ZHANG Li
    2017, 37(2):  200-206.  DOI: 10.16829/j.slxb.201702011
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    Using a non-invasive method, 113 fecal samples from the Asian elephant population in Puer were collected. After getting total DNA using kits, specific amplification by 9 microsatellite loci resulted in a 49 unique genotypes which were identified by CERVUS 3.0. The analysis of genetic diversity through GenAlEx v6.5 and Arlequin v3.5 showed that loci didid not deviate from Hardy-Weinberg equilibrium; the average allele number was 3.111; the average Shannon's Information Index was 0.804; the average expected heterozygosity was 0.468and the average observed heterogosity was 0.476. Comparisons of genetic heterozygosity from different areas showed that the genetic diversity of Asian elephant in Puer was low.

    The characteristics of yak SND1 gene and its expression in mammary gland
    TIAN Kuili, PAN Yangyang, LI Yueqin, CUI Yan, YU Sijiu
    2017, 37(2):  207-214. 
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    Staphylococcal nuclease and tudor domain containing 1 (SND1, Tudor-SN), a transcriptional co-activator protein, is involved in the regulation of gene expression. The objective of this study was to analyze the biological characteristic of yak SND1, and to examine the expression of SND1 in mammary gland. Mammary samples from local yak were collected and primary mammary epithelial cells were obtained by trypsin digestion. The third generation of purified mammary epithelial cells was used to clone yak SND1 gene by RT-PCR. Bio-information software was used to analyze the characteristics of SND1, and immunohistochemistry and immunofluorescence were used to detect the location of protein encoded by SND1. The results showed that the coding region of Bos grunniens SND1 gene was 3294 bp in length, encoding 20 amino acids. The encoded protein of SND1 gene was predicted to be a type of non-secreted and non-transmembrane protein. The homology of SND1 gene between yak and Bison, Bos taurus, Pantholops hodgsonii, Capra hircus, Sus scrofa, Camelus ferus, Equus caballus, Pan paniscus, Homo sapiens, Rattus norvegicus were 99%, 98%, 96%, 94%, 91%, 90%, 90%, 89%, 89% , 85%, respectively. It was found that, in evolution, the SND1 gene of yak was closely related to those of Bison and, Bos taurus, and distantly related to that of Homo sapiens and Rattus norvegicus. In yak mammary gland, the SND1 had high positive expression in the secretory epithelial cells (mammary epithelial cell) and ductal epithelial cells, but weak expression in myo-epithelial cells. SND1 protein was highly expressed in the nuclei of mammary epithelial cells and weakly expressed in cytoplasm. In summary, our study could provide a theoretical basis for further study of yak lactation function, and also provide reference data for the mammals living in Qinghai-Tibet Plateau.