Publications

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the functional anatomy of the hindlimb of some african viverridae (carnivora).the functional anatomy of the hindlimb of 12 species of viverrids was studied with relation to locomotion. the animals were allocated to primary locomotor categories on the basis of their anatomy and locomotion. the climbing, arboreal walking category (nandinia binotata) is characterized by a small sacroiliac articulation, the iliopsoas inserts onto a medially located lesser trochanter and the femoral condyles are not posteriorly placed. the hindfoot is plantigrade and its structure permits cons ...19761255730
the ancestral karyotype of carnivora: comparison with that of platyrrhine monkeys.the karyotypes of six species of carnivora (mungos mungo, paradoxurus hermaphroditus, potos flavus, mustela furo, felis serval, and halichoerus grypus), representative of five different families, were studied and compared. correspondence between almost all chromosome segments was found, and a presumed ancestral karyotype of carnivora is proposed. analogies to human chromosomes are also given, and the results obtained are in excellent agreement with previously published gene mapping data on man a ...19836861525
isolation of thogoto virus (orthomyxoviridae) from the banded mongoose, mongos mungo (herpestidae), in uganda.small wild vertebrates were trapped during an investigation into possible vertebrate reservoirs of o'nyong-nyong (onn) fever virus in uganda in 1997. antibody neutralization test results and virus isolation attempts were negative for onn virus, confirming the work of earlier investigators, who also failed to find evidence for a nonhuman onn virus reservoir. in the course of these onn virus studies, thogoto virus was isolated from one of eight banded mongooses (mongos mungo). this is the first is ...199910466973
mycobacterium tuberculosis: an emerging disease of free-ranging wildlife.expansion of ecotourism-based industries, changes in land-use practices, and escalating competition for resources have increased contact between free-ranging wildlife and humans. although human presence in wildlife areas may provide an important economic benefit through ecotourism, exposure to human pathogens may represent a health risk for wildlife. this report is the first to document introduction of a primary human pathogen into free-ranging wildlife. we describe outbreaks of mycobacterium tu ...200212023916
cowpox virus outbreak in banded mongooses (mungos mungo) and jaguarundis (herpailurus yagouaroundi) with a time-delayed infection to humans.often described as an extremely rare zoonosis, cowpox virus (cpxv) infections are on the increase in germany. cpxv is rodent-borne with a broad host range and contains the largest and most complete genome of all poxviruses, including parts with high homology to variola virus (smallpox). so far, most cpxv cases have occurred individually in unvaccinated animals and humans and were caused by genetically distinguishable virus strains.200919727399
fatal cowpox virus infection in captive banded mongooses (mungos mungo).cowpox virus infections have been described in various domestic and exotic animal species. this report is the first on an outbreak of fatal generalized cowpox virus infection among captive banded mongooses (mungos mungo, suborder feliformia). all animals of a colony of 8 mongooses showed a fulminant course of disease. the whole population died (n=7) or was euthanized (n=1) within 11 days. postmortem examinations were performed on 4 animals. all animals showed extensive necrotizing inflammation o ...201020472807
imitation and traditions in wild banded mongooses.evidence has accumulated in recent years indicating that traditions are not a unique feature of human societies but may be common in primates and some other mammals. however, most documented cases remain contentious because observational studies of free-living animals suffer from interpretive weaknesses, whereas social diffusion experiments performed in captivity may not reflect conditions found in nature. here we use experiments under natural conditions to demonstrate that wild banded mongooses ...201020605459
classification of pasteurella sp. b as pasteurella oralis sp. nov.pasteurella species b has so far only been reported from the oral cavity of dogs, cats and a ferret. in the present study, information from 15 recent isolates that included african hedgehogs (atelerix albiventris), banded mongoose (mungos mungo), moholi bushbabies (galago moholi) and pneumonia of a cat were compared to five strains investigated previously from bite wounds in humans inflicted by a cat and dog and from gingiva of a cat. rpob gene sequence comparison showed 17 isolates including th ...201121841008
tracking pathogen transmission at the human-wildlife interface: banded mongoose and escherichia coli.a primary challenge to managing emerging infectious disease is identifying pathways that allow pathogen transmission at the human-wildlife interface. using escherichia coli as a model organism, we evaluated fecal bacterial transmission between banded mongoose (mungos mungo) and humans in northern botswana. fecal samples were collected from banded mongoose living in protected areas (n = 87, 3 troops) and surrounding villages (n = 92, 3 troops). human fecal waste was collected from the same enviro ...201323612855
explaining negative kin discrimination in a cooperative mammal society.kin selection theory predicts that, where kin discrimination is possible, animals should typically act more favorably toward closer genetic relatives and direct aggression toward less closely related individuals. contrary to this prediction, we present data from an 18-y study of wild banded mongooses, mungos mungo, showing that females that are more closely related to dominant individuals are specifically targeted for forcible eviction from the group, often suffering severe injury, and sometimes ...201728439031
regional distribution of cholinergic, catecholaminergic, serotonergic and orexinergic neurons in the brain of two carnivore species: the feliform banded mongoose (mungos mungo) and the caniform domestic ferret (mustela putorius furo).the nuclear organization of the cholinergic, catecholaminergic, serotonergic and orexinergic neurons in the brains of two species of carnivore, the banded mongoose (mungos mungo) and domestic ferret (mustela putorius furo), is presented. the banded mongoose belongs to the feliform suborder and the domestic ferret to the caniform suborder, having last shared a common ancestor approximately 53 million years ago; however, they have a very similar overall morphology and life history, presenting an i ...201728416460
segmental concatenation of individual signatures and context cues in banded mongoose (mungos mungo) close calls.all animals are anatomically constrained in the number of discrete call types they can produce. recent studies suggest that by combining existing calls into meaningful sequences, animals can increase the information content of their vocal repertoire despite these constraints. additionally, signalers can use vocal signatures or cues correlated to other individual traits or contexts to increase the information encoded in their vocalizations. however, encoding multiple vocal signatures or cues usin ...201223206242
segmental structure in banded mongoose calls.in complex animal vocalizations, such as bird or whale song, a great variety of songs can be produced via rearrangements of a smaller set of 'syllables', known as 'phonological syntax' or 'phonocoding' however, food or alarm calls, which function as referential signals, were previously thought to lack such combinatorial structure. a new study of calls in the banded mongoose mungos mungo provides the first evidence of phonocoding at the level of single calls. the first portion of the call provide ...201223206277
policing of reproduction by hidden threats in a cooperative mammal.the evolution of cooperation in animal and human societies is associated with mechanisms to suppress individual selfishness. in insect societies, queens and workers enforce cooperation by "policing" selfish reproduction by workers. insect policing typically takes the form of damage limitation after individuals have carried out selfish acts (such as laying eggs). in contrast, human policing is based on the use of threats that deter individuals from acting selfishly in the first place, minimizing ...201424367092
the impact of health status on dispersal behavior in banded mongooses (mungos mungo).while disease and injury have obvious impacts on mortality, they can have less understood non-lethal impacts on behavior. these behavioral effects might have a significant consequences for population-level disease dynamics if diseased individuals are more or less likely to disperse. we opportunistically observed dispersal events in banded mongooses (mungos mungo) that were either healthy or unhealthy due to injury and/or clinical signs of a novel tuberculosis pathogen, mycobacterium mungi. we fo ...201424504905
evidence for frequent incest in a cooperatively breeding mammal.as breeding between relatives often results in inbreeding depression, inbreeding avoidance is widespread in the animal kingdom. however, inbreeding avoidance may entail fitness costs. for example, dispersal away from relatives may reduce survival. how these conflicting selection pressures are resolved is challenging to investigate, but theoretical models predict that inbreeding should occur frequently in some systems. despite this, few studies have found evidence of regular incest in mammals, ev ...201425540153
banded mongooses avoid inbreeding when mating with members of the same natal group.inbreeding and inbreeding avoidance are key factors in the evolution of animal societies, influencing dispersal and reproductive strategies which can affect relatedness structure and helping behaviours. in cooperative breeding systems, individuals typically avoid inbreeding through reproductive restraint and/or dispersing to breed outside their natal group. however, where groups contain multiple potential mates of varying relatedness, strategies of kin recognition and mate choice may be favoured ...201526095171
elevated glucocorticoid concentrations during gestation predict reduced reproductive success in subordinate female banded mongooses.dominant females in social species have been hypothesized to reduce the reproductive success of their subordinates by inducing elevated circulating glucocorticoid (gc) concentrations. however, this 'stress-related suppression' hypothesis has received little support in cooperatively breeding species, despite evident reproductive skews among females. we tested this hypothesis in the banded mongoose (mungos mungo), a cooperative mammal in which multiple females conceive and carry to term in each co ...201526510673
adjustment of costly extra-group paternity according to inbreeding risk in a cooperative mammal.females of many animal species seek mating opportunities with multiple males, despite being able to obtain sufficient sperm to father their offspring from a single male. in animals that live in stable social groups, females often choose to mate outside their group resulting in extra-group paternity (egp). one reason proposed to explain female choice for extra-group males is to obtain compatible genes, for example, in order to avoid inbreeding depression in offspring. the benefits of such extra-g ...201726609201
female reproductive competition explains variation in prenatal investment in wild banded mongooses.female intrasexual competition is intense in cooperatively breeding species where offspring compete locally for resources and helpers. in mammals, females have been proposed to adjust prenatal investment according to the intensity of competition in the postnatal environment (a form of 'predictive adaptive response'; par). we carried out a test of this hypothesis using ultrasound scanning of wild female banded mongooses in uganda. in this species multiple females give birth together to a communal ...201626817515
reproductive competition triggers mass eviction in cooperative banded mongooses.in many vertebrate societies, forced eviction of group members is an important determinant of population structure, but little is known about what triggers eviction. three main explanations are: (i) the reproductive competition hypothesis, (ii) the coercion of cooperation hypothesis, and (iii) the adaptive forced dispersal hypothesis. the last hypothesis proposes that dominant individuals use eviction as an adaptive strategy to propagate copies of their alleles through a highly structured popula ...201626936245
erratum for alexander et al., emerging tuberculosis pathogen hijacks social communication behavior in the group-living banded mongoose (mungos mungo). 201627329748
variable ecological conditions promote male helping by changing banded mongoose group composition.ecological conditions are expected to have an important influence on individuals' investment in cooperative care. however, the nature of their effects is unclear: both favorable and unfavorable conditions have been found to promote helping behavior. recent studies provide a possible explanation for these conflicting results by suggesting that increased ecological variability, rather than changes in mean conditions, promote cooperative care. however, no study has tested whether increased ecologic ...201727418750
lifetime fitness consequences of early-life ecological hardship in a wild mammal population.early-life ecological conditions have major effects on survival and reproduction. numerous studies in wild systems show fitness benefits of good quality early-life ecological conditions ("silver-spoon" effects). recently, however, some studies have reported that poor-quality early-life ecological conditions are associated with later-life fitness advantages and that the effect of early-life conditions can be sex-specific. furthermore, few studies have investigated the effect of the variability of ...201728331582
biased escorts: offspring sex, not relatedness explains alloparental care patterns in a cooperative breeder.kin selection theory predicts that animals should direct costly care where inclusive fitness gains are highest. individuals may achieve this by directing care at closer relatives, yet evidence for such discrimination in vertebrates is equivocal. we investigated patterns of cooperative care in banded mongooses, where communal litters are raised by adult 'escorts' who form exclusive caring relationships with individual pups. we found no evidence that escorts and pups assort by parentage or related ...201728469015
dominance, reproduction and survival in banded mongooses: towards an egalitarian social system?the banded mongoose, mungos mungo, is a social species that forms multimale and multifemale family groups. earlier studies suggest these family groups are relatively egalitarian with small differences in reproductive opportunities among individuals of different rank. in contrast, previous studies of other social mongooses have focused on species with more despotic control of reproduction (meerkats, suricata suricatta, dwarf mongooses, helogale parvula). in these species, the distribution of repr ...200111170693
diagnosis and implications of mycobacterium bovis infection in banded mongooses (mungos mungo) in the kruger national park, south africa.bovine tuberculosis (btb) was first diagnosed in the kruger national park (knp) in 1990. research has since focused on the maintenance host, the african buffalo ( syncerus caffer ) and clinically affected lion ( panthera leo ). however, little is known about the role of small predators in tuberculosis epidemiology. during 2011-12, we screened banded mongooses ( mungos mungo ) in the btb high-prevalence zone of the knp for mycobacterium tuberculosis complex members. fecal swabs, tracheal swabs, a ...201727788055
emerging tuberculosis pathogen hijacks social communication behavior in the group-living banded mongoose (mungos mungo).an emerging mycobacterium tuberculosis complex (mtc) pathogen, m. mungi, infects wild banded mongooses (mungos mungo) in northern botswana, causing significant mortality. this mtc pathogen did not appear to be transmitted through a primary aerosol or oral route. we utilized histopathology, spoligotyping, mycobacterial interspersed repetitive units-variable number of tandem repeats (miru-vntr), quantitative pcr (qpcr), and molecular markers (regions of difference [rds] from various mtc members, i ...201627165798
aggressive monopolization of mobile carers by young of a cooperative breeder.competition between young of the same brood or litter is of particular interest in the fields of behavioural and evolutionary ecology, because the competing individuals are likely to be closely related, where evolutionary theory predicts a greater degree of cooperation. studies of cooperative breeding species typically concentrate on who contributes care to rearing young, and assume a passive role of the young. relatively, little attention has been devoted to considering how intralitter competit ...018647720
cowpox virus in llama, italy.cowpox virus (cpxv) was isolated from skin lesions of a llama on a farm in italy. transmission electron microscopy showed brick-shaped particles consistent with orthopoxviruses. cpxv-antibodies were detected in llama and human serum samples; a cpxv isolate had a hemagglutinin sequence identical to cpxv-monkre08/1-2-3 strains isolated from banded mongooses in germany.201121801638
fine-scale spatiotemporal patterns of genetic variation reflect budding dispersal coupled with strong natal philopatry in a cooperatively breeding mammal.the relatedness structure of animal populations is thought to be a critically important factor underlying the evolution of mating systems and social behaviours. while previous work has shown that population structure is shaped by many biological processes, few studies have investigated how these factors vary over time. consequently, we explored the fine-scale spatiotemporal genetic structure of an intensively studied population of cooperatively breeding banded mongooses (mungos mungo) over a 10- ...201222994210
non-invasive monitoring of glucocorticoid metabolites in banded mongooses (mungos mungo) in response to physiological and biological challenges.free-ranging banded mongooses are infected by the novel pathogen, mycobacterium mungi in northern botswana. a reliable method for determining stress-related physiological responses in banded mongooses will increase our understanding of the stress response in m. mungi infection. therefore, our aim was to examine the suitability of four enzyme immunoassays (eias) for monitoring adrenocortical endocrine function in captive and free-ranging banded mongooses based on fecal glucocorticoid metabolite ( ...201222926328
how do banded mongooses locate and select anvils for cracking encased food items?banded mongooses (mungos mungo) extract encased food items by throwing them against anvils. observations indicate that their chosen anvils are generally hard enough to crack open casings, suggesting an understanding of the physical properties that render an anvil suitable for cracking. we report results from two field experiments investigating spatial and physical aspects of anvil selection in a wild group of banded mongooses. mongooses rapidly carried prey items to nearby anvils in their enviro ...201222516627
the cost of dominance: suppressing subordinate reproduction affects the reproductive success of dominant female banded mongooses.social species show considerable variation in the extent to which dominant females suppress subordinate reproduction. much of this variation may be influenced by the cost of active suppression to dominants, who may be selected to balance the need to maximize the resources available for their own offspring against the costs of interfering with subordinate reproduction. to date, the cost of reproductive suppression has received little attention, despite its potential to influence the outcome of co ...201221752819
reproductive competition and the evolution of extreme birth synchrony in a cooperative mammal.reproductive events in animal societies often show a high degree of temporal clustering, but the evolutionary causes of this synchronization are poorly understood. here, we suggest that selection to avoid the negative effects of competition with other females has given rise to a remarkable degree of birth synchrony in the communal-breeding banded mongoose (mungos mungo). within banded mongoose groups, births are highly synchronous, with 64 per cent of females giving birth on exactly the same nig ...201120685697
reproductive control via eviction (but not the threat of eviction) in banded mongooses.considerable research has focused on understanding variation in reproductive skew in cooperative animal societies, but the pace of theoretical development has far outstripped empirical testing of the models. one major class of model suggests that dominant individuals can use the threat of eviction to deter subordinate reproduction (the 'restraint' model), but this idea remains untested. here, we use long-term behavioural and genetic data to test the assumptions of the restraint model in banded m ...201020236979
do anvil-using banded mongooses understand means-end relationships? a field experiment.tool use and the associated need to choose appropriate objects for a particular task are thought to have selected for specialized cognitive abilities such as means-end comprehension. several studies on large-brained tool-using primates and birds have demonstrated understanding of causal relationships to some extent. however, a comprehensive appraisal of this hypothesis requires testing for means-end comprehension also in non-tool-users as well as in small-brained tool users. moreover, the result ...201019771457
strategic adjustment of begging effort by banded mongoose pups.variation in the intensity of conspicuous displays raises three basic questions: (i) the relationship between internal state and display intensity, (ii) the relationship between display intensity and receiver response, and (iii) the effect of variation in receiver responsiveness on signaller behaviour. here, i investigate the interaction between pups and helpers in the communally breeding banded mongoose (mungos mungo), where each pup forms an exclusive relationship with a single adult helper (t ...200818331981
behaviour: begging is a joint effort in banded mongooses.lack of competition for food items in banded mongoose litters allows pups to benefit from more demanding siblings, suggesting that in this species begging may not be entirely selfish.200717437702
cooperative begging in banded mongoose pups.vivid begging displays are common in species with parental care [1, 2]. they are usually seen as the way that rival offspring selfishly compete over parental investment [3], and individuals are expected to respond to the begging of rivals by increasing their own begging intensity [4, 5]. here i show the opposite - that potential rivals gain direct benefits from begging by littermates, so that begging behavior becomes a collective enterprise, similar to other cooperative activities. i investigate ...200717412587
'nasty neighbours' rather than 'dear enemies' in a social carnivore.territorial animals typically respond less aggressively to neighbours than to strangers. this 'dear enemy effect' has been explained by differing familiarity or by different threat levels posed by neighbours and strangers. in most species, both the familiarity and the threat-level hypotheses predict a stronger response to strangers than to neighbours. in contrast, the threat-level hypothesis predicts a stronger response to neighbours than to strangers in species with intense competition between ...200717251103
helpers benefit offspring in both the short and long-term in the cooperatively breeding banded mongoose.helpers in cooperative and communal breeding species are thought to accrue fitness benefits through improving the condition and survival of the offspring that they care for, yet few studies have shown conclusively that helpers benefit the offspring they rear. using a novel approach to control for potentially confounding group-specific variables, i compare banded mongoose (mungos mungo) offspring within the same litter that differ in the amount of time they spend with a helper, and hence the amou ...200516271972
social control of reproduction in banded mongooses.recent theoretical work suggests that the distribution of reproduction, or degree of reproductive skew, in animal societies depends crucially on (1) whether dominant individuals can fully control subordinate reproduction, and (2) how subordinate reproduction affects the fitness of dominants. i investigated these two factors in cooperatively breeding banded mongooses, mungos mungo. female packmates entered oestrus together and were closely guarded by dominant males. these males were aggressive to ...200010640376
mongoose throwing and smashing millipedes.african millipedes of the genus sphaerotherium coil into tight spheres when disturbed. their tough skeletal armor offers protection against some predators, but not against the african banded mongoose mungos mungo, which smashes them by hurling them against rock.196717737407
molecular characterization of a cryptosporidium isolate from a banded mongoose mungos mungo.cryptosporidium spp. has been found in more than 150 species of mammals, but there has been no report in mongooses. in this study, we report the isolation of cryptosporidium sp. in a banded mongoose mungos mungo, which was brought from tanzania to japan; the isolate was analyzed genetically to validate the occurrence of a new, host-adapted genotype. cryptosporidium diagnostic fragments of 18s ribosomal rna and 70-kda heat shock protein genes were amplified from this isolate and compared with the ...200415040685
topography of the chorda tympani nerve and the tensor tympani muscle in carnivores provides a new synapomorphy for herpestidae (carnivora, mammalia).the topographical relationship of the chorda tympani nerve (chorda tympani) to the tensor tympani muscle in the middle ear of carnivores provides new phylogenetic information. the examination of histological serial sections of 16 carnivore species representing most families revealed two distinct character states concerning the course of the chorda tympani: a hypotensoric state with the nerve running below the insertion tendon of the tensor tympani muscle, and an epitensoric state with the nerve ...201020017207
draft genome sequence of the mycobacterium tuberculosis complex pathogen m. mungi, identified in a banded mongoose (mungos mungo) in northern botswana.mycobacterium mungi, a mycobacterium tuberculosis complex pathogen, has emerged in banded mongoose in northern botswana and northwest zimbabwe. the pathogen is transmitted through infected secretions used in olfactory communication behavior (k. a. alexander, c. e. sanderson, m. h. larsen, s. robbe-austerman, m. c. williams, and m. v. palmer, mbio 7(3):e00281-16, 2016, http://dx.doi.org/10.1128/mbio.00281-16). we announce here the draft genome sequence of this emerging pathogen.201627469947
do not feed the wildlife: associations between garbage use, aggression, and disease in banded mongooses (mungos mungo).urbanization and other human modifications of the landscape may indirectly affect disease dynamics by altering host behavior in ways that influence pathogen transmission. few opportunities arise to investigate behaviorally mediated effects of human habitat modification in natural host-pathogen systems, but we provide a potential example of this phenomenon in banded mongooses (mungos mungo), a social mammal. our banded mongoose study population in botswana is endemically infected with a novel myc ...201627547366
leptospira interrogans at the human-wildlife interface in northern botswana: a newly identified public health threat.leptospirosis is the most widespread zoonosis in the world. in northern botswana, humans live in close proximity to a diversity of wildlife and peridomestic rodents and may be exposed to a variety of zoonotic pathogens. little is known regarding the occurrence and epidemiology of l. interrogans in africa despite the recognized global importance of this zoonotic disease and the threat it poses to public health. in botswana, banded mongooses (mungos mungo) live in close proximity to humans across ...201423672285
novel mycobacterium tuberculosis complex pathogen, m. mungi.seven outbreaks involving increasing numbers of banded mongoose troops and high death rates have been documented. we identified a mycobacterium tuberculosis complex pathogen, m. mungi sp. nov., as the causative agent among banded mongooses that live near humans in chobe district, botswana. host spectrum and transmission dynamics remain unknown.201020678329
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